This document is part of an archive of postings by John Ray on Dissecting Leftism, a blog hosted by Blogspot who are in turn owned by Google. The index to the archive is available here or here. Indexes to my other blogs can be located here or here. Archives do accompany my original postings but, given the animus towards conservative writing on Google and other internet institutions, their permanence is uncertain. These alternative archives help ensure a more permanent record of what I have written.

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Below is the backup of this blog for April, 2023. To access the backups in earlier years, click here

30 April, 2023

Has India already beaten the super-infectious new Covid variant?

India may have already beaten the Arcturus wave, according to data that destroys fears surrounding the super-infectious Covid variant.

A huge explosion in cases across the country over the past month left hospitals braced for a surge of infected patients. Some of the worst-affected states even brought back mandatory face masks out of precaution. It sparked concerns that Britain could be hit by a similar fate.

Yet India's once-spiralling curve may have petered out before it ever had a chance to overwhelm the nation. Cases now appear to be in decline, experts on the ground have claimed.

Paediatrician Dr Vipin Vashishtha, based in the north of the country, who was one of the first to raise the alarm about Arcturus when he warned it may trigger conjunctivitis in kids, said data suggests the resurgence has already 'peaked'.

Prominent Covid experts today told MailOnline the U-turn in cases was proof that concerns over XBB.1.16, as it is scientifically known, were overblown.

They also insist there's no proof the strain is any more severe than others circulating.

Professor Robert Dingwall, who advised the Government on the virus during the pandemic, also told MailOnline: 'We have to stop jumping at every new Covid variant that comes along unless there is solid evidence that we have poor immunity to it. 'We need to be treating Covid like any other influenza-like illness.'

Despite Covid cases having spiked in recent weeks, hospitals are not yet seeing huge crowds. Most patients in New Delhi — which was the epicenter during previous peaks — are elderly or battling underlying conditions.

Fearing a repeat of last year's carnage, hospitals around India conducted drills to check Covid readiness in the face of spiralling Arcturus figures.

More than 30,000 hospitals across India took part in the Covid mock drill, which involved checking availability of beds, ventilators and oxygen cylinders in the event they were overwhelmed.

In an anticipation of chaos, many provincial governments have made masks mandatory again. That includes in Mumbai, where all patients, visitors and employees at hospitals must don coverings.

Professor Francois Balloux, a vocal Covid commentator throughout the pandemic, from University College London, also told MailOnline he was 'not worried' about the variant.

'I don’t think anyone should be panicking over it, wherever they may live in the world,' he said.

'As long as we’re facing related Omicron variant lineages, replacing each other over time, we should be fine, whatever fancy name they may be given. Summer is coming. 'There’s no ugly variant raising its head and Covid should rank low among peoples’ concerns right now.

'As long as the Omicron lineage predominates - whatever variant - there will be cases, but no big nasty wave.

'If and when, the World Health Organization (WHO) decides that an emerging SARS-CoV-2 lineage should be given a new Greek letter name, things will become more serious.'

He added: 'That said, we’ll never be back to early pandemic ‘square one’, as protection against severe symptoms and deaths, provided by vaccination and prior infections will remain, long-term, whatever variant SARS-CoV-2 may throw at us in the future.'

The strain, which was first identified by the WHO in January, saw cases in India explode 90-fold within weeks.

India was logging over 10,500 Covid cases earlier this week, according to Oxford University-run platform Our World in Data.

This is up from the 160 in late February, when the variant began to gather pace. But as of April 28, this had dropped to 10,100.

Data also suggested Arcturus it made up two thirds of all cases in the country.

Dr Vipin Vashishtha, consultant paediatrician at the Mangla Hospital and Research Centre, and former official at the Indian Academy of Paediatrics, also tweeted: 'Is the peak of Indian Covid surge led by XBB.1.16 Arcturus already over? Yes the data suggests so.'

He added: 'The outbreak probably peaked around week 13/14. Therefore it's slowing down.'

India's drills and masks were a grim reminder of how the country was devastated by the Delta wave in 2021, with a total of 4.7million excess deaths, according to WHO estimates.

The nation's health system was overwhelmed by a surge of cases triggered by that Covid variant, with some hospitals even running out of oxygen.

Nowadays the illness caused by the Covid more closely resembles that of the flu, unlike during the earliest days of the pandemic.

But XBB.1.16 does have three extra mutations on its spike protein, which may help it dodge the body's natural defences.

And doctors on the front line in India have also claimed they've seen a rise in infected children with conjunctivitis, suggesting Arcturus may be causing different symptoms to other variants.

A study published on Friday also revealed the variant has been shown to increase the risk of the eye condition among children under one-year-old.

Led by Dr Vashishtha, the research found young infants were disproportionately affected than older children.

'One interesting finding was the presence of itchy, non-purulent conjunctivitis with mucoid discharge and stickiness of eyelids in 42.8 per cent of positive infants,' Dr Vipin, who also sits on the WHO's vaccine safety net, said.

The study of 25 children seen between April 4 and April 16 found the youngest case was a 13-year-old newborn baby.

But none of the children required hospitalisation.

Professor Paul Hunter, an expert in infectious diseases from the University of East Anglia, also told MailOnline today: 'Covid has previously been reported as causing conjunctivitis even back in 2020.

'Also many other respiratory viruses, especially adenoviruses, can cause conjunctivitis so not that surprising. Most cases of viral conjunctivitis are mild and recover of their own.

'The issue is excluding another cause of the conjunctivitis that has to be treated more aggressively.'

He also warned that while infections 'may have peaked in the last few days in India', it remains 'too early to be confident that this a not a temporary glitch'.

He added: 'I prefer more than just three days of falling numbers before I am content it is a trend.

'It is possible that the proportion of infections that are due to XBB.1.16 has also started falling but again it's too early for me to be confident. 'It looks like the percentage is falling but the confidence intervals are very wide.'

Scientists at the University of Tokyo comparing the Kraken and Arcturus sub-variants have suggested that the newer strain spreads about 1.17 to 1.27 times more efficiently than its relative.

They warned it 'will spread worldwide in the near future' aided by the fact that it seems 'robustly resistant' to antibodies lingering in the body from previous Covid infections.

In a briefing on April 20, the WHO confirmed XBB.1.16 'may spread globally and contribute to an increase' in cases.

The strain, while identified in January, has been monitored by the WHO since the end of March.

It has now been seen in 42 countries, including the US, Singapore, Australia, and Canada.

Other Omicron sub-variants include Kraken (XBB.1.5) and Orthrus (CH.1.1).

Currently Kraken remains dominant in the UK, causing 44 per cent of all cases, while Omicron accounts for 8 per cent.

Like similar new Covid variants, virus trackers online decided to call XBB.1.16 'Arcturus' following a pattern of naming new strains after mythological entities.


Judge Rules Chicago Must Reinstate Employees Fired Over Vaccine Mandate, Rescind Requirement

A state administrative law judge ruled on Wednesday that Chicago must reinstate city employees who were fired for refusing to comply with Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate and rescind the requirement.

The decision came in a case before the Illinois Labor Relations Board, involving over 20 unions representing city employees, which filed an unfair labor practices charge with the state panel after Lightfoot imposed the policy in the fall of 2021.

A separate but similar case involving the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge 7, the city’s largest police union, remains pending.

In a 78-page decision in combined cases brought by the Coalition of Unionized Public Employees and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 31, Administrative Law Judge Anna Hamburg-Gal found that although the city had the right to implement a vaccine requirement for its employees, it was obligated to negotiate with the union over the effects of that policy.

The judge ruled that the city should have negotiated with the unions over the consequences of the policy, such as placing non-compliant employees on “no-pay status” and later terminating their employment.

Hamburg-Gal wrote that docking pay “is not an inevitable consequence of the vaccine mandate or reporting requirement because no-pay status is not the sole means by which the (city) could have enforced its policy.”

The city also unilaterally changed the status quo in August 2021 when it began terminating employees who had not complied with the policy, choosing “to pursue a far harsher approach than it had taken before against violators of its vaccination policy.”

The judge ordered the city to reinstate the affected employees, with their personnel records expunged, and to compensate workers for any lost pay or benefits that resulted, with 7% interest.

The unions should be allowed to negotiate to keep any parts of the policy they like, the judge said.

A spokesperson for AFSCME Council 31 applauded the ruling as a “strong decision (that) will bolster workers’ rights going forward.”

Anders Lindall, AFSCME spokesman, stated, “The ruling affirms that when an employer contemplates significant changes to terms of employment, it has a duty to bargain in good faith with the union. In this case, the city did not do that.”

This deadline falls just days after Lori Lightfoot will leave office and far left Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson will take over.

While the FOP’s matter is still pending and tied up in court, the police union’s president, John Catanzara, celebrated the decision as “a great day for labor in Chicago and the state of Illinois.”


28 April, 2023

Ringing in the ears after Covid shot

Thousands of Covid vaccine recipients have reported persistent ringing in their ears after getting the shots and scientists are still investigating the connection.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintains that data does not support a link between the vaccines and the condition known as tinnitus, but the problem has become persistent and widespread enough to merit more attention.

Over 16,000 vaccine takers in the US have reported some form of tinnitus after getting the shots, while a Facebook support group called ‘Tinnitus and Hearing Loss/Impairment after COVID vaccination’ has gained 4,000 members.

The risk would be tiny even if there is a connection, given that 675million vaccine doses have been administered in the US, according to the CDC.

Dr Shaowen Bao, a neurophysiologist at the University of Arizona, Tucson’s College of Medicine and a longtime tinnitus sufferer, set out to investigate the association by sampling nearly 400 members of the Facebook tinnitus group.

While on the surface the complaints of ringing in the ears may sound like anti-vaccine propaganda, the Facebook from which Dr Bao gleaned his sample maintains that it is ‘pro-vaccine’ and does not parrot anti-vax sentiments such as claims that the shots cause deafness.

Many of the sufferers reported other symptoms, including dizziness and vertigo after their shots.

This, Dr Bao said, suggests ‘that the vaccine is interacting with pre-existing risk factors for tinnitus. If you have the risk factor, you will probably get it from the first dose.’

Tinnitus after vaccination, most often the first shot, could be caused by inflammation around the brain or spinal cord, Dr Bao said.

Dr Bao has said: ‘Vaccination is an immune response; it could cause inflammation - peripheral inflammation - and peripheral inflammation could affect the brain where the tinnitus is initiated.

Tinnitus is a common condition affecting as many as 25 percent of American adults.

Is Covid to blame for this crackling noise in my ears?

Viruses (including Covid-19) can cause tinnitus — usually as a result of inflammation which damages nerves that carry hearing information to the brain. A study last year found 20 per cent of those affected by Covid developed tinnitus.

Patients report a phantom noise in the ear that can be mild as well as extremely disruptive to daily life.

It can sound like persistent ringing, hissing, roaring, or screeching at low or high volumes.

Dr Bao found that in many cases, the tinnitus was severe, including one man who experienced such persistent ringing that he could no longer hear his radio.

The study, which has not been published, is one of just a few studies looking into the link between vaccinations and tinnitus.

A 2022 study published in the journal Laryngoscope found that the risk of developing tinnitus after the first dose of the Covid vaccine was low - and in fact, the risk was higher after receiving other vaccines such as the flu shot. But just because the risk is low does not mean it is zero.

Dr Gregory Poland, founder and director of the Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group in Rochester, Minnesota has detailed his ordeal with tinnitus after getting his Covid vaccines, telling NBC News last year that he thought the sudden noise ‘was a dog whistle going off right next to me.’

A lack of CDC-sanctioned research into the little-understood after effect of vaccination has frustrated sufferers like Dr Poland, who said the leading health agency is ‘unconcerned’ about the reports.

The true total number of people with tinnitus linked to a Covid vaccine is murky at best. In addition to the 4,000-person Facebook group, the CDC’s voluntary reporting database shows at least 16,000 entries of people who experienced tinnitus at some point after getting the shot.

Times of onset vary, with some sufferers saying the ringing came on 36 hours after vaccination while others said about a month.

Some sufferers saw tinnitus come on after their second shots, but most after their first.

The effect may also be a product of long-covid, or the lingering symptoms even after recovering from the disease. The most commonly reported among them include fatigue and brain fog, but researchers at Yale University have begun enrolling participants in a study of long covid symptoms that includes tinnitus.

Dr. Harlan Krumholz, a professor of medicine at Yale University and clinical long Covid researcher, said the tinnitus could be caused by internal vibrations in the ear.

Researchers have not pinpointed a cause for tinnitus generally, though various theories exist. A team at Stanford University’s Medicine Molecular Neurotology Laboratory suggested that forms of tinnitus reflect some damage in the inner ear.

Dr Konstantina Stankovic, an inner ear expert and head and neck surgeon at Stanford said the brain tries to compensate for the damage in the inner ear ‘and starts to make sound of its own.’


One final question for Australia's medical regualtors: Will your credibility be restored or slide further?

On 25 July 2021, Scott Morrison said the government will buy another 85 million Pfizer booster doses in 2022 and 2023. That’s more than three boosters for every Australian or more than four for every adult, after their initial two-dose vaccination. Thus the government was already aware of the vaccine’s waning effectiveness against the existing strain and its likely ineffectiveness against new variants. This of course is also the understanding about annual flu vaccines: they are reformulated every year because the pathogen is unstable and keeps mutating, which in turn rules out an eradication strategy. This is why we learnt long ago to live with the flu, focus public health efforts on protecting the most vulnerable through annual vaccines and leave the rest of society to carry on with the normal routine of life. Meanwhile, the ‘safe and effective’ messaging on Covid vaccines looks increasingly suspect. Confidence has diminished in health authorities, parliaments, medical establishments and media for their manifold failures to interrogate the official claims and report on the rising toll of vaccine injuries. As from last month, the AstraZeneca vaccine is no longer available in Australia owing to the ‘rare but serious side effect’ thrombosis. On 31 March, the ABS reported there were 25,235 (15.3 per cent) excess deaths in Australia in 2022. Yet the government and opposition MPs rejected a motion from Senator Ralph Babet to hold an inquiry into this concerning phenomenon. Meanwhile from 1 April Switzerland has withdrawn all vaccine recommendations. Doctors can administer Covid vaccines only in individual cases under specified conditions and bear the risk of liability themselves.

Even if Covid had proven to be as deadly as the Spanish flu and the vaccines 90 per cent effective, coercion and mandates would still have been unethical. Revelations that authorities knew this to be false in early 2021, means there was little medical justification either. This makes the public policy scientifically perverse and ethically immoral. Social media Big Tech made it worse by actively censoring, shadow-banning, downgrading and slapping labels from self-identifying fact-checkers better described as misinformers and disinformers. (India has gone one logical step better. The government will create a fact-check body for regulating online content. Opposition parties have denounced the move as censorship and accused the ruling party of being the biggest purveyor of fake news.) On the one hand, Big Pharma and public regulators meant to oversee them colluded to hide and delay important information. On the other, they ferociously attacked independent researchers who tried various forensic techniques to ‘mine’ the relevant data and offer a counter-narrative, with the goal of discrediting and demonising anyone with the temerity to question the official ‘truth’. The Censorship-Industrial Complex was weaponised into a powerful tool of state power in an evolving system of governance that is a threat to the very survival of free society. I am not impugning doctors and researchers who put their faith in the underlying integrity of the regulatory agencies and medical establishments, even if that faith turned out to have been misplaced and abused. I too feel betrayed by the WHO and disillusioned with its patchy performance, to put it kindly.

On 5 April Maryanne Demasi published an article on Substack, republished by Children’s Health Defense, that the triumphalist 95-per-cent-efficacy narrative of the Pfizer vaccine, which would give us all an exit ramp from the coronavirus pandemic with universal vaccination, had already gone off script by June 2021. Some highly vaccinated countries like Israel were experiencing a fresh wave of infections that was fuelling vaccine hesitancy and slowing take-up. By July Israel was reporting effectiveness of 64 per cent and in August only 39 per cent. Regulatory filings show that Pfizer and the FDA had evidence already in April 2021 on waning effectiveness. This was not publicly disclosed until much later. The press release from Pfizer on 1 April 2021 announcing results of its six-month Phase 3 trial repeated claims of 91.3 per cent efficacy against the Covid disease and up to 100 per cent effectiveness against severe disease. The top authorities continued to downplay the lack of evidence to demonstrate vaccine effectiveness against viral transmission and long-term protection. While acknowledging the possibility of breakthrough infections, Anthony Fauci said on national TV on 16 May 2021, ‘When you get vaccinated, you not only protect your own health, that of the family, but also you contribute to the community health by preventing the spread of the virus throughout the community… you become a dead end to the virus. And when there are a lot of dead ends around, the virus is not going to go anywhere’. The official report from Public Health Ontario in March shows Covid hospitalisations and deaths in 2022 were 31 and 39 per cent higher respectively than in 2021, despite 76 per cent of Ontarians being double-vaccinated.

Neither the pharmaceutical industry nor public health agencies are releasing all the data nor undertaking the important safety studies and acting on safety signals in a timely fashion to restore trust in their good faith, competence and integrity. Independent researchers are still having to do medical detective work instead. With widely varying and contested definitions and measurements of Covid and vaccine-related deaths, they look instead for clues in all-cause excess deaths. In February, Norwegian scientists published a study which found vaccination rollouts across 31 countries in 2021 were associated with rising all-cause mortality in the first nine months of 2022. A March analysis from the Vaccine Damage Project concluded there were 310,000 vaccine-related US excess deaths in 2021 to 2022 inclusive. Professor Norman Fenton calculates the number of deaths caused directly by vaccines until 23 March 2023 to be 120,000 in the US and 16,000 in the UK. Dr. Ros Jones, a retired consultant paediatrician, examined the lagged temporal correlations in several European countries between vaccine uptakes and falling births nine months later. On 28 March WHO experts published a revised roadmap which prioritises vaccines for the elderly and people with comorbidities, relegates healthy children and adolescents down to low priority because of their low disease burden and recognises natural immunity from prior infections.

In a sign they might be awakening to the risk of cross-vaccine hesitancy because of disillusionment with Covid vaccines, the guidance acknowledges: ‘The public health impact of vaccinating healthy children and adolescents is comparatively much lower than the established benefits of traditional essential vaccines for children’.

My final question is to the public health clerisy. If you become transparent on efficacy, investigate safety signals urgently and fully and publish the findings honestly, in the long run will your credibility worsen or will you begin to regain public trust and confidence?


27 April, 2023

Not with a bang but a lawsuit: Is this the way the Covid vaccines end?

Dr Barry Schultz was a highly respected paediatrician, surgeon and obstetrician in Adelaide. He was also a Covid vaccine skeptic. He was not opposed to conventional vaccines. He had immunised thousands of children and was fully vaccinated. He was concerned about the safety and efficacy of the Covid vaccines, so much so that when he was sent the paperwork to become eligible to administer the novel gene-based injections which were only provisionally approved he knew that if anything went wrong he was the one who could be sued. So he wrote on the back of the form ‘get stuffed’ and told his staff to send it back.

Nonetheless, he had to be vaccinated to be able to be able to treat his patients in hospitals. So on 2 October 2021 he had his first Pfizer jab. Within three days he had blood in his urine. He also suffered nose bleeds. Both are adverse events associated with Covid vaccination. He booked to see a specialist but continued to work 80 hours a week. He never got to that appointment. Two weeks after his first jab he woke at 2:30am on Tuesday 19 October haemorrhaging internally, including in his brain, and vomiting blood profusely. He was taken immediately to hospital where he was eventually pronounced dead.

It is well established in Covid medical literature that it is the spike protein – found in both vaccines and the virus – that damages blood vessels causing haemorrhaging. Given that his death occurred less than three weeks after the jab, the vaccine should be suspected of having contributed to his death. Yet his widow, a registered nurse, had to battle for over a year before the Australian Health Practitioners Regulatory Agency finally agreed to submit a report to the TGA which listed the Pfizer vaccine as being suspected of contributing to his death.

This week, his brother Phil was one of over 500 people who have joined a class action lawsuit filed in the federal court of Australia by Brisbane lawyer Natalie Strijland. All have suffered serious or life-threatening events or are the relatives of those who have died following Covid vaccination. Many have have been left with significant disabilities. As the news filters out about the class action, the first of its kind in Australia, more people are joining each day. Dr Melissa McCann, who instigated the action, is crowdfunding to assist with legal and travel costs. Any compensation awarded will be shared entirely by the injured and the bereaved.

The applicants will argue that the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) did not fulfil its duty to properly regulate the vaccines which resulted in considerable harm to Australians. The respondents are the Australian government, the Department of Health and Aged Care Secretary Dr Brendan Murphy, who announced in early April that he will retire in July, and the former head of the TGA Adjunct Professor John Skerritt who just retired from the public service in mid-April.

So far there have been 986 deaths and over 138,000 adverse events that have been reported to the TGA following Covid vaccines. That dwarfs the reports of death for all flu vaccines since records began in 1971 – only 28 deaths and 3,924 adverse events. Even so, the Covid vaccine reports are almost certainly an understatement. A Harvard study commissioned by the US Department of Health and Human Services in 2010 showed that reports to the regulator of vaccine injuries may represent only one per cent of those who are injured.

Yet despite the mounting claims of deaths and injuries the TGA insists that only 14 deaths are ‘likely to be related to vaccination’ – 13 following an AstraZeneca (AZ) jab and one following Moderna.

AZ’s vaccine was quietly withdrawn from Australia on 21 March but the TGA maintains this has nothing to do with safety even though it is suspected of contributing to the deaths of 484 Australians – 100 aged 18 to 64, 342 aged 65 and above, and 42 Australians whose age is apparently unknown.

So why has the AZ vaccine been withdrawn? Could it have anything to do with the fact that the pharma giant is being sued in the UK by a group representing the vaccine injured and dead which includes the husband of popular BBC North radio broadcaster Lisa Shaw? She was only 44 when she died a week after her AZ jab of vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia, an acknowledged sometimes deadly side effect.

What about Pfizer? It seems highly unlikely that not a single death has been caused by its vaccines in Australia when smaller countries such as New Zealand and Singapore acknowledge that it has caused deaths. There have been over 5,300 reports of myocarditis and/or pericarditis in people following Covid vaccination, both of which can be caused by Covid vaccines. In 23 cases the person died and in 16 of those cases it was following a Pfizer vaccine. These were not elderly people. In seven cases the person was aged between 18 and 64, in six cases they were aged 65 and above and in three cases the age was unknown.

How is it possible not to know someone’s age when they die when the TGA claims it is ‘carefully monitoring and reviewing reports of myocarditis and pericarditis’ and ‘closely reviews all deaths reported in the days and weeks after Covid-19 vaccination’? These facts should be easy to establish. The name, age and type of vaccine administered are recorded on the Australian Immunisation Register for every vaccination in Australia and the age of death is recorded on every death certificate. Yet in 28 deaths the TGA has not identified the type of vaccine and in 92 deaths the TGA says that it doesn’t know the age of the person.

What is surprising is not that the TGA has withdrawn the AZ vaccine but that it is still recommending all other Covid vaccines to anyone aged 5 years or older. Denmark, Sweden and Norway stopped recommending the vaccine for children and healthy adults at different points in 2022. Even the World Health Organisation urged countries this April to treat vaccinating healthy children and adolescents as a ‘low priority’. Switzerland, the global headquarters for many pharmaceutical companies, has said that at present it no longer recommends Covid vaccinations for anyone. Doctors may still administer the jabs but will bear the risk of liability. Is this the way the Covid vaccines will end, not with a bang but a lawsuit?


More on the Class action lawsuit over Covid vaccine injuries 'There has been a cover-up'

A landmark Covid-19 vaccine injury class action lawsuit has been filed against the Australian government and the medicines regulator.

The nation-wide suit, which reportedly has 500 members including three named applicants, seeks redress for those allegedly left injured or bereaved by the Covid-19 vaccines.

One of the applicants who suffered a severe heart condition after getting the Pfizer jab is even claiming there was 'cover-up' during the vaccine rollout which hid the potential risks.

The federal government, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and the Department of Health - in addition to a number of senior public servants - are all named as parties to the class action, which was filed in the New South Wales Federal Court on Wednesday.

The named parties are accused of negligence in their approval and monitoring of Covid-19 vaccines, breach of statutory duty and misfeasance in public office.

The lawsuit was organised by Queensland GP Dr Melissa McCann who raised over $105,000 through crowd funding. 'These injured and bereaved have suffered immense loss, pain and grief,' Dr McCann tweeted.

'Just as heartbreaking has been the gaslighting and silence, which has left them feeling abandoned. We cannot simply 'move on' from covid and leave them behind.'

Dr McCann has been critical of the existing compensation scheme, claiming it was 'not fit for purpose'.

'Many vaccine-injured Australians who cannot access compensation through the Services Australia scheme now find themselves abandoned, with no support,' Dr McCann said.

The size of the compensation claim being sought is not yet clear.

The TGA has been contacted for comment.

The TGA’s latest health safety report, published on 20 April, reveals that adverse risks are extremely low. here were 138,307 total adverse event reports from nearly 66 million vaccine doses administered - a rate of just 0.2 per cent.

'The protective benefits of vaccination far outweigh the potential risks,' the report states.

The medicines regulator has identified a total of 14 reports where the cause of death was linked to vaccination and said there was no new vaccine-related deaths identified since 2022.

'The TGA closely monitors reports of suspected side effects (also known as adverse events) to the COVID-19 vaccines,' it said.

'This is the most intensive safety monitoring ever conducted of any vaccines in Australia.'

But instructing solicitor Natalie Strijland, of Brisbane law firm NR Barbi, said the action would argue the TGA caused considerable harm and damage by failing to regulate the COVID-19 vaccinations properly.

The class action names three applicants, one of whom is 41-year old father-of-two Gareth O'Gradie.

Mr O'Gradie, a teacher from Melbourne, was left with a 20-centimetre scar down his chest after developing severe pericarditis — inflammation of the lining around the heart — following his first Pfizer vaccination in July 2021.

He did not respond to various medications and therapies and in February 2022 doctors performed open heart surgery to remove his the pericardial sac lining his heart.

The TGA said myocarditis and pericarditis were 'usually temporary conditions, with most people getting better within a few days', noting that the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) 'continues to emphasise that the protective benefits of the vaccines far outweigh the rare risk of these side effects'.

But Mr O'Gradie believes there has been 'misinformation about the safety' of the vaccines from the government. 'I think there has been some cover-up,' he told

'There was a lot of, you know, 'We need to not scare the public as part of the vaccine rollout, so let's not publicise these things.' There was a large, intentional withholding of information — that doesn't give people informed consent.'

He claimed that he was 'totally not or never have been anti-vaccine'. 'I'm pro-science, I'm well educated,' he said.

Mr O'Gradie told The Australian that he was worried about the 'anti-vaccine lobby piggybacking' on the class action.

He is joined by two other lead claimants: Antonio Derose, 66, who developed encephalomyelitis (inflammation in the brain and spinal cord) following his AstraZeneca jab and Anthony Rose, 47, who claims severe cognitive impairment and chronic fatigue following his Moderna vaccination.

The existing compensation scheme, which is open to Australians who 'suffer a moderate to severe impact following an adverse reaction to a TGA-approved COVID-19 vaccine', has been heavily criticised for being difficult to access and too narrowly focused.

As of April 12, Services Australia had received 3501 applications and paid 137 claims totalling more than $7.3 million. Another 2263 claims are still in progress, while 405 have been withdrawn and 696 deemed not payable.


26 April, 2023

Very weak study in defence of masks

The journal Plos One on Friday slapped an “expression of concern” on the Burnet Institute’s controversial July 2021 paper, which purported to show that mandating masks was the “single most important control measure” that turned around Victoria’s second Covid wave in 2020 “almost overnight”.

In October 2021, experts told that the supposed “world-first” study was riddled with basic errors and should never have been published in a major journal, blasting the paper as “crap”, “extremely lightweight” and “very, very low quality”.

The Burnet Institute – an influential public health body that advised the Victorian government on its Covid response – stood by its findings and described the scientists’ comments to as “disappointing and unprofessional”.

But Plos One has now acknowledged flaws in the study with a lengthy notice appended to the paper. An expression of concern – one step above a correction but short of a retraction – is used to “alert readers of serious concerns about published work”.

“After publication of this article, readers raised a number of concerns, including about the methodology, the limitations of the study design, and whether the conclusions are fully supported,” Plos One editors wrote in the notice.

“The Plos One editors consulted with two members of the editorial board and a statistical advisor who advised that the study design is associated with a number of weaknesses that are discussed in the article, and which are unavoidable because of ethical issues that would be associated with a randomised controlled trial in the context of a pandemic, but that there were also additional weaknesses.”

For the study, the Burnet Institute looked at photos from The Age newspaper to conclude that mask usage rose from 43 per cent to 97 per cent after the July mandate came into effect.

Medical researcher Dr Kyle Sheldrick told in 2021 that it was “hard to think of a worse methodology to answer this question than just looking at which photos are collected by a metropolitan newspaper”.

“I was staggered to see this was published by a major journal,” he said. “If a student came to me and said, I’m going to compare these two sets of photos and draw some conclusion about whether a policy worked, you would send them away to think about it.”

Another researcher, an eminent Australian clinician and scientist who spoke on the condition of anonymity, was equally scathing. “I agree, it’s crap,” he said. “It’s extremely lightweight. I think it’s a totally feeble article. It doesn’t have a rigorous methodology and it is weak in its scientific inference.”

Concerns were also raised about other aspects of the paper, including that it singled out the mask mandate as the key reason for the fall in Covid transmission out of all of Victoria’s sweeping lockdown measures.

Plos One’s editors acknowledged the three main issues raised with the paper – the photographic observation of mask usage, self-reported mask wearing survey data, and unmeasured confounding variables such as curfews, movement restrictions and closures.

On the photos, Plos One’s editors noted it was “unclear whether such images are representative of mask usage in the population”.

They also noted the Survey of Covid-19 Responses to Understand Behaviour (SCRUB) sample size was “small and may not be representative of the population”.

In response, the Burnet Institute’s authors indicated that “the sample sizes were not inappropriately small for the purpose, noting that the high-powered interrupted time series study found a highly statistically significant change in the growth rate of the epidemic that coincided with the mask mandate”.

Plos One’s editors also noted that “the study design could not exclude the possibility of contributions from unmeasured confounding variables, including the implementation of a curfew and movement restrictions on 2nd August 2020 and closure of childcare facilities, schools, and non-essential businesses on 5th August 2020”.

“According to the cumulative expert input received by the Plos One editors, the results of the published study contribute to the field of mask evaluation research, provided results are not overinterpreted and limitations are acknowledged,” they wrote.

“The Plos One editors felt that the conclusions, including those that imply causation, a direct correlation between Covid-19 cases and mask mandates, and the ability of masks for controlling epidemics, were not suitably tempered in light of the limitations of the study design. The Plos One editors issue this expression of concern to inform readers about the above considerations regarding study design and interpretation of the results.”

The Burnet Institute has been contacted for comment.

It comes after a major Cochrane Review – considered the gold standard of evidence-based medicine – earlier this year assessed 78 high-quality scientific studies, and found “wearing masks in the community probably makes little or no difference” when comparing masking with non-masking to prevent Covid.

The bombshell findings proved controversial and sparked a war of words between Karla Soares-Weiser, editor-in-chief of the Cochrane Library, and the study’s lead author Tom Jefferson.

“Many commentators have claimed that a recently-updated Cochrane Review shows that ‘masks don’t work’, which is an inaccurate and misleading interpretation,” Soares-Weiser said in a statement in March.

“[The study’s] wording was open to misinterpretation, for which we apologise. While scientific evidence is never immune to misinterpretation, we take responsibility for not making the wording clearer from the outset.”

Jefferson subsequently hit back at suggestions the apology from Soares-Weiser meant the study had been retracted.

“It was upsetting,” he told journalist Maryanne Demasi. “Cochrane has thrown its own researchers under the bus again. The apology issued by Cochrane is from Soares-Weiser, not from the authors of the review.”

Jefferson claimed Soares-Weiser, in response to media pressure, had “gone outside the normal channels and made decisions without any consultation with the authors of the review”.

“It is unacceptable,” he said. “We are the copyright holders of the review, so we decide what goes in or out of the review. We do not change our reviews on the basis of what the media wants.”


Face masks may raise risk of stillbirths, testicular dysfunction and cognitive decline due to build-up of carbon dioxide, study warns

Face masks may raise the risk of stillbirths, testicular dysfunction and cognitive decline in children, 'explosive' new research suggests.

A review of dozens of studies on face coverings suggested they can cause mild carbon dioxide poisoning when worn over long periods.

The German academics who carried out the research believe masks create a pocket of dead space between the mouth and mask, which traps the toxic gas.

They say the build-up of CO2 in pregnant women's bodies could cause complications for the unborn fetus. They point out that CO2 also contributes to oxidative stress, which can affect cognition and cause testicular issues in men.

But independent doctors have questioned the conclusions of the study — which never directly looked at health complications and mask use, describing the link as 'unlikely'.

Alluding to the surge in stillbirths during the pandemic, the German researchers said: 'Circumstantial evidence exists that popular mask use may be related to current observations of a significant rise of 28 percent to 33 percent in stillbirths worldwide.'

'[And] reduced verbal, motor, and overall cognitive performance of two full standard deviations in scores in children born during the pandemic,' the researchers wrote in the paper, published in the journal Heliyon.

But the study could not conclusively prove that the masks were directly responsible for any of these complications.

Dr Stuart Fischer, an emergency care physician in New York, questioned whether there was a 'toxic buildup' of CO2.

He said: 'I wouldn’t say this happens, because the body adjusts the pH, the acid/base balance very quickly. Respiratory acidosis due to facemasks is unlikely although short-term side effects might affect people with chronic lung disease.'

The German research team gathered data from 43 previously published studies on exposure to CO2, mask-wearing and pregnancy.

They found that after wearing a mask for more than five minutes, CO2 levels in the inhaled air rose to between 1.4 percent and 3.2 percent.

One mask study conducted in Germany, researchers measured the CO2 concentration of air behind surgical masks worn by 15 healthy men. Within 30 minutes, the CO2 concentration rose to roughly 2.8-3.2 percent.

In another study in Italy, scientists measured the air under surgical masks worn in a lab and found a concentration between 0.22 and 0.29 percent within five minutes.

Masks provide breathing resistance and create a dead space that traps CO2, leading to more inhaled and re-breathed CO2, the reviewers said.

The gas makes up around 0.04 percent of all inhaled air, for comparison, and the Department of Agriculture said safe levels should be below 0.5 percent for eight-hour exposure.

The researchers then looked at studies that focused on the effect of similar CO2 levels on animals such as mice and rats.

Mammals such as mice and rats with prolonged exposed to 0.3 percent carbon dioxide gave birth to offspring which had 'irreversible neuron damage', the review found.

In total, the researchers looked at studies dating back from the start of the scientific databases they searched until November 30, 2021.

The main caveat of the research is that the studies looking at the potential toxic effects of carbon dioxide are animal studies - because these experiments would not be ethical in humans.

The researchers also noted that none of the studies in their review looked directly at mask use and miscarriages, infertility and neurodevelopment disorders.

The researchers also noted that the exact effects of toxic levels of CO2 on unborn life is not known in great detail.

Carbon dioxide is known to contribute to oxidative stress, which the researchers suggested would hinder fetal development.

Dr Kevin Bass, cell and molecular biology PhD student, said on Twitter that the new paper was 'explosive'.

But he said: 'We do not have any good evidence in pregnant women... of the long-term effects of mask-wearing and therefore no evidence that these effects occur in women.'

He added: 'All we have are animal studies and a clear indication that changes in CO2 concentrations do occur in mask-wearing women.'

Stillbirths and pregnancy complications rose during the Covid pandemic, and preeclampsia and other pregnancy complications were blamed on the virus.

Factors other than mask-wearing are likely to be at play, such as hospital closures and delayed care.

It comes after three years of fierce debate about the effectiveness of masks.

Mask mandates on transportation systems in America were backed by penalties of up to $3,000 for repeat offenders.

Former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr Anthony Fauci initially advised people not to wear masks, which he later claimed because he was concerned there would not be enough for healthcare workers.

He went on to advise that everyone should wear a mask.


25 April, 2023

Dentists: Unexplained Pain, Tooth Loss and Bone Problems May Be Linked to COVID-19 Vaccine

Before business owner and busy mom Alana Parker experienced severe oral pain and facial swelling after receiving Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine in 2021, she had good dental health with never so much as a cavity.

When her symptoms progressed and an ulcer had grown to the point where the bone was protruding, causing her to lose large fragments of her jawbone, Parker knew she was in serious trouble.

“I was begging them to pull my tooth out but there were no signs of it being decayed,” Parker told The Epoch Times, noting she was passed back and forth between a dentist and endodontist trying to determine what was wrong.

It wasn’t until Parker found Alabama orofacial pain and dental sleep medicine specialist Dr. Amy Hartsfield that she felt she was on the road to recovery.

Hartsfield, a private practice dentist in Homewood, Alabama, obtained her specialization from the American Board of Orofacial Pain and the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine after practicing 14 years of general dentistry.

Parker isn’t the only patient she’s seen with severe facial pain issues. Since the vaccines were rolled out, Hartsfield has seen an exponential increase in patients with head and facial neurovascular and myofascial pain, including headaches, toothaches not caused by the tooth, osteonecrosis of the jaw, sleep issues, tinnitus, and oral and facial autoimmune conditions.

“I’ve seen patients with no previous history of health issues [who] have perfectly healthy teeth and now have pain syndromes associated with these healthy teeth,” she said. These types of injuries affect both the nerves and blood vessels.

Dental Issues and COVID-19

In her research, Hartsfield discovered an array of health issues the COVID-19 vaccine spike protein can cause, many of which are related to immunity and blood microclots.

She also discovered that this is the first time polyethylene glycol (PEG) has been used in a vaccine. The use of PEG has become increasingly controversial since it can cause a number of serious immunological reactions, including anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening.

The vaccine has been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier, circulate throughout the bloodstream, and has been found in most organs, all with the potential for serious health consequences.

Since the blood supply is important to all areas of the body including the bones, microclots can have a detrimental effect on bone health.

Microclots and Orofacial Bone Loss

There are tiny capillaries that feed the bone, and with microclots occurring in the orofacial area, you’re going to start losing bone density around it, Hartsfield explained.

Cheryl Alverson, 79, came to Hartsfield after having all of her lower teeth extracted due to a massive recurring infection that caused extensive bone loss.

Hartsfield immediately ordered multiple blood tests, including several specifically related to blood clotting. “They showed I had microclots all through my body,” said Alverson.

Hartsfield explained that microclots can interfere with bone healing after extractions. What happened with Alverson typically only occurs in patients who have been on osteoporosis medication or had radiation therapy, neither of which applied to Alverson.

Alverson had received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines and a subsequent booster shot before her issues began, and she had not been infected with the COVID-19 virus prior to seeing Hartsfield.

She had good teeth but spontaneously had pain in her lower left jaw. Shards—pieces of her mandible—broke off out of her gum tissue, she said.

Parker’s case started only a few months after she had received the COVID-19 vaccine. With Parker, there was a “dying off of the bone,” said Hartsfield.

Parker’s bloodwork showed extreme inflammation across multiple body systems—and with four loose teeth and not enough energy to drive a car, Hartsfield built a team around her of five specialists and put her on a protocol of medications and vitamins to support her recovery. (pdf)

Microclots not only interfere with bone health but can affect the nerves, which also rely on capillaries for survival. Without adequate blood supply to the nerves, they too will develop problems, said Hartsfield.

A Surge in Facial Pain

Birmingham, Alabama-based endodontist Dr. John Collier told The Epoch Times he’s seen an “unbelievable amount of increasing facial pain” in the last couple of years.

He refers his patients to Hartsfield if he determines the pain is not caused by the patient’s tooth.

I had a patient with tremendous facial pain, implants, and an implant allergy, said Collier. Hartsfield is the “detective who goes through all the layers of what’s causing this,” he said.

While Collier can’t say whether or not his patients’ conditions were caused by the COVID-19 vaccine, he’s confident that stress from the pandemic and the country’s toxic political environment are contributing factors.

“There’s a lot of clenching and grinding and a lot of muscular pain,” he said.

Likewise, oral surgeon Dr. Doug Denson from Birmingham, Alabama, who has also sent patients with facial pain to Hartsfield, said it’s impossible to say for sure whether it’s COVID or the vaccine causing the symptoms he’s been seeing.

“In my opinion, correlation does not always equal causation … again, there have been some odd symptoms since the pandemic started. It’s just impossible to tell the exact mechanism or cause,” he said.

Still, Denson noted the uptick of unexplainable pain symptoms in a significant portion of the population affected by COVID immediately after the pandemic started, specifically trigeminal neuralgia, which is sudden, severe facial pain.

Hartsfield has also seen an increase in neuropathy of the trigeminal nerve, as well as major issues related to inflammation and cytokine storms.

Increase in Inflammation and Cytokine Storms

Cytokines themselves are small proteins released by cells in the body, including those of the immune system where they coordinate the body’s response to fight infections and trigger inflammation.

Hartsfield isn’t the only practitioner who has noted an escalation in inflammatory abnormalities and cytokine storms since the onset of COVID-19 and the COVID-19 vaccines.

Denson has also seen an increased number of patients of all different ages with inflammation of the tongue and hyper-inflammatory responses, including osteomyelitis, an infection of the jaw that is very difficult to treat because the blood supply to the jaw is not great.

These maladies would typically be seen in older individuals rather than in a younger, healthy population.

Dr. Liz Kivus, a periodontist practicing in Alabama, told The Epoch Times she has also seen a marked increase in inflammatory symptoms such as gingival inflammation, since COVID-19 and the related vaccines.

Kivus further noted an increase in lichen planus, an inflammatory condition of the skin and mucous membranes that often results in an itchy rash that can affect various areas of the body, including the mouth, arms, legs, trunk, nails, and scalp.

We see this when patients’ immune systems are broken down, said Kivus. Patients have even said, “I’m too uncomfortable to brush my teeth and to eat.”

After seeing so many patients with unexplained issues since the pandemic and when COVID vaccines were released, Hartsfield believes it’s important to consider a patient’s vaccination status.

Consideration of Vaccination Status

“I have to screen these people to see if they’ve been vaccinated, when and how many times, and then I see if I can treat them,” said Hartsfield.

Most practitioners are not asking when the patient had COVID or when the patient had their vaccines, she said.

Hartsfield attributed some of her knowledge as coming from highly publicized critical care doctors who were “canceled” during the pandemic, including the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance.

She also studied the information released by Department of Defense whistleblower Lt. Col. Theresa Long, M.D., MPH, an aerospace medicine doctor and Army Brigade flight surgeon who reported the unusual diagnoses and alarming trends after the introduction of COVID-19 vaccinations.

“When you ask the whole population to have a mandatory vaccine that has more side effects than any other vaccines in history showing in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, you will definitely see injuries,” said Hartsfield.

She noted that some patients and practitioners do not consider whether the patient’s ailments may have resulted from the COVID vaccine, while others come into her office knowing that their health issues directly relate to taking the vaccine.

It is really sad, she said. I just had a 25-year-old man in my office stating he has been gaslit by a number of practitioners when he mentioned his head and ear pressure had started within days of taking the vaccine, said Hartsfield. He was reluctant to tell me he thought his health issues were from the vaccines because other providers made him feel crazy.

Parker, who to this day still has elevated C-reactive protein and some orofacial pain and swelling, attributed her symptoms to a short-circuiting of the immune system and microclots.

“I’ve been chronically ill for nearly a year and unfortunately my two 12-year-old girls have seen me sick over and over—I think that has been alarming for them,” said Parker. “It’s been a journey—I don’t feel that it’s going to kill me but it was touch and go there for a while.”

“I hate that we haven’t been able to openly talk about it because I had the resources and freedom to receive treatment,” said Parker. “I can’t imagine people that do not have the resources to treat it.”


RFK Jr. Says Middle Class Was ‘Systematically’ Wiped Out by COVID-19 Lockdowns

Democratic 2024 presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said COVID-19 lockdowns across the United States decimated the middle class, suggesting that it has yet to recover.

“The strength of a nation comes from a strong economy and a vibrant middle class,” Kennedy told Fox News over the weekend, “and we have wiped out the middle class in the country systematically.”

The 69-year-old, who is a prominent skeptic of vaccines, stated that COVID-19-related policies benefited the elite ruling class at the cost of the middle class. Those lockdowns, he asserted, shifted $4 trillion in wealth from the middle class to a “new aristocracy of billionaires.”

Those lockdowns “created 500 new billionaires,” Kennedy stated. “The Oxfam report, which came out this week, shows that the billionaires that existed at the beginning of the pandemic, the people like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeffrey Bezos, Bloomberg, etc., increased their wealth by 30 percent during the pandemic. From the lockdowns. And [Bezos’s] Amazon got to shut down all of its competitors.”

And Kennedy, the son of former Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of former President John F. Kennedy, stated that he believes that former President Donald Trump initiated those lockdowns.

Kennedy added, “I’m in a better position to run against Donald Trump than any of the Democrats because I can hold him accountable for the worst thing that he did, which was the lockdowns.”

However, Trump, as president, had little authority to issue lockdowns at the state or local level. And in early 2020, Trump said that keeping the United States shut down would “ultimately inflict more harm than it would prevent.” For those remarks and others, mainstream media outlets frequently criticized Trump and essentially blamed his policies for the rise of COVID-19-related deaths that year.

“It’s important for all Americans to recognize that a permanent lockdown is not a viable path forward producing the result that you want or certainly not a viable path forward,” the president said in April 2020, about two months after the first COVID-19 cases were detected inside the United States after spreading from mainland China.


24 April, 2023

A growing number of scientists are sounding the alarm about the risks of both COVID and its cures

Those raising evidence-based concerns about the adverse effects of COVID-19 vaccines are often labeled purveyors of misinformation, and derided as anti-scientific conspiracy theorists and paranoid kooks. Or worse. Bill Kristol tweeted in late 2021 that, “there is blood on the hands in 2021 of the unvaccinated and especially their enablers and encouragers who know better.” However, there are a number of prominent scientists, doctors, and independent researchers who are wary of both COVID infection and the vaccines. Many of these figures are worried about one particular piece of the SARS-CoV-2 virus: the spike protein, which allows the virus to enter your cells, and which was chosen to be the featured element used in the Moderna, Pfizer, J&J, and AstraZeneca vaccines. The available evidence shows that COVID, especially in light of new forms of treatment, is not as acutely deadly as once feared, and while mortality attributable to the COVID vaccines has not been definitively characterized, it is likely relatively rare. But some scientists are concerned by the potential effects of repeated exposure to the spike protein, and therefore the advisability of further boosters that contain it, given that we are going to be frequently reexposed to the circulating virus. Those voicing these concerns, however, have been subjected to censorship, ostracization, and damaging attacks on their reputations.

Take, for example, evolutionary biologist Bret Weinstein. On his DarkHorse podcast on June 21, 2021, Weinstein sat down with mRNA pioneer Dr. Robert Malone (COVID-vaccinated) and Silicon Valley inventor turned COVID investigator Steve Kirsch (COVID-vaccinated) to discuss the potential dangers of the vaccines rapidly being distributed around the country and across the world. The focus? The spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, which is produced when the mRNA from the vaccines enters your cells.

By June 21, 2021, Weinstein felt there was enough evidence to demonstrate that the spike was “cytotoxic” (toxic to cells) and asked for Malone’s take. Malone not only concurred but said he had already warned the FDA about that potential risk “months and months and months ago.” On June 3, 2021, according to an email provided to Tablet, Malone contacted Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, regarding his concerns about “circulating spike protein, and the associated implications.” Malone said on the podcast that his contacts inside the FDA ultimately felt that his evidence wasn’t strong enough to prove that the spike alone was “biologically active.” Dr. Marks has not responded to Tablet’s requests for comment.

Not one week after Weinstein’s podcast, as the concept of a toxic spike protein spread across the internet, the new fact-checking police leapt into action. Reuters wrote, “Posts are sharing the false statement that the spike protein in COVID-19 vaccines is cytotoxic, suggesting that it kills or damages cells. There is no evidence to support this,” and quoted a couple of experts. The fact check deemed Weinstein’s claim “false,” just as it had once done with the assertion that COVID-19 was likely created in a laboratory. As it turns out, the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is now considered extremely toxic to many human systems—a conclusion reached in paper after paper. Evidence to support this has also been found in tissue samples from deceased COVID patients, and those who were suspected to have died due to complications from vaccination, as well as those with post-vaccination myocarditis.

Every virus, like every organism, is made up of proteins, which are in turn made up of complex chains of amino acids. These are the microstructures of life itself. Coronaviruses like SARS-CoV-2 are composed of four main types of proteins: envelope, membrane, nucleocapsid, and spike. The spike protein’s primary role is to help the virus attach to cells, gain entry, and propagate itself. To begin with, the ruthless efficiency of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein makes it an extremely dangerous bit of biology. But also, this spike is itself a pathogen. This assessment is not breaking news; researchers who studied past human coronaviruses, especially SARS, noted that the spike protein can cause inflammation and increase disease severity. In fact, a 2005 study in the prestigious Nature Medicine journal proved that the spike protein of SARS, due to its effects on the now-famous ACE2 receptor, can “cause severe and often lethal lung failure.”

But the SARS-CoV-2 version makes those past spikes look simple by comparison. Dr. Paul Marik, the founder and chief scientific officer of the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance, and the second-most-published critical care physician in the world, told Tablet that the only substance he’s aware of as toxic as the SARS-CoV-2 spike is cyanide. “Cyanide kills you quickly, spike kills you over a prolonged period of time. It’s truly astonishing the things it does.” Marik thinks that spike is the primary driver of COVID’s virulence, which he saw firsthand while treating severely ill patients during the first wave of the pandemic. “It is the most vicious disease I have ever seen. People have said this is like the flu, and it’s no big deal. Let me tell you … It is an extremely evil disease. It’s difficult to treat. It responds poorly and it kills people slowly over time.”

Veteran viral pathologist Dr. Gerard Nuovo, a retired professor at Ohio State University and an active researcher of COVID-19, was similarly shocked after looking at tissue samples from people who died from the illness. “I said to myself, I have never seen a fatal viral infection with so much viral protein in the target organ, which as you know is the lung.”

Here are some of the things that the spike protein has been found to have the potential to do. In the cardiovascular system: One segment of spike can signal the cells of blood vessels in the lungs to grow, causing “thickened” vessel walls typical of pulmonary hypertension, a condition that makes it harder for the heart to pump blood into the lungs; that same fragment, S1, can damage the cells which line the inside of every blood vessel in the body including the lungs; can damage the cells in your heart which work in concert with those cells; can cause the heart to become fibrotic; and can, says this 2022 paper, even contribute to the development of myocarditis, an inflammatory condition of the heart muscle which weakens it, and can cause sudden death in recovered patients. The Cleveland Clinic estimates that the survival rate for myocarditis is 80% after one year and 50% after five.

In the blood: Spike can deform our clotting cells—or platelets—sometimes irreversibly activating them; it binds to blood clotting proteins and creates clots that are “structurally abnormal”; it can cause microclots from red blood cells clumping together that deplete blood oxygen levels. David Scheim, an independent researcher who co-authored a study published in December 2022 about those microclots with a team from France’s famed Méditerranée Infection Institute in Marseille, told Tablet that their experiment revealed the red blood cell clumping “is actually visible [to the naked eye], it forms a film so you don’t even need a microscope, you just add the spike to a suspension of red blood cells and you see this clumping.”

In the brain: The S1 fragment of spike has been shown to move straight across the blood brain barrier, the all-important gatekeeper of the brain, in humanized mice. Once it’s in, the spike can damage cells that line the walls of blood vessels in the brain, lead to memory loss, or disrupt the mitochondria of similar brain blood vessel cells, potentially triggering “a more severe form of stroke.” Perhaps more ominously, certain sequences on the S1 portion of the spike are able to bind to amyloid proteins that have been known to cause severe neurological disease. The proteins that spike is able to bind are related to the development of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Creutzfeldt-Jacob, an irreversible, and fatal brain disease. Additionally, the spike itself may be considered an amyloid, a misfolded protein that can grow and form fibrous plaques. Think of the 1958 horror classic The Blob, but at a cellular level.

In short, spike can contribute to cardiovascular damage, brain damage, blood clots, autoimmunity, cell deformation, and cell-to-cell fusion. As Walter Chesnut, an independent researcher, has previously written, “It is a Swiss Army Knife of death.” Chesnut co-authored an article in 2021 with a group of scientists, doctors, and journalists that included Luc Montagnier (who won a Nobel Prize for his discovery of HIV) outlining what may tie together all of the spike’s nasty effects. They theorized that spike preys on our DNA, and that repeated exposure will prematurely age us, leading to earlier death by natural causes. “Spike is spike. The more the worse,” Chesnut told Tablet.

The Chesnut and Montagnier et al. hypothesis that spike protein can accelerate biological aging is still novel, and not widely accepted. Professor Masfique Mehedi, a microbiologist and virologist who has studied Ebola at the prestigious Rocky Mountain Laboratories, and whose work shows that COVID spike can enter the nucleus of our cells, told Tablet that their hypothesis may be “premature.” There is, however, mounting evidence that the larger idea that vaccine-induced spike could be harming people is worth taking seriously.

The spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 is not precisely identical to the spike used in the vaccines, though they are very similar. First of all, at any given point in time, the wild-type spike is mutating (e.g., omicron) with unknown consequences, whereas the vaccine spikes are predetermined. But the design of the vaccine spike was deliberately altered from the original in at least two key ways: to increase stability, and to “lock” the protein in its “prefusion” shape, in the hopes that it would teach our immune system to recognize and neutralize the virus’s spike before it has a chance to bind to our cells.

One argument against the spike protein hypothesis of vaccine injury—meaning the notion that exposure to the spike protein is the main cause of the vaccine’s potentially severe side effects—is that due to the changes locking the spike in its prefusion shape, it can’t cause the damage alleged. However, many of the examples provided above of spike-related pathologies don’t require cell-binding, but rather just require exposure.

Because of how dangerous it is, some believe that it’s a secondary question where the spike is coming from, COVID or the treatments for COVID—all that really matters is that it’s coming into contact with your cells. “The more spike, the greater the risk. So if you have COVID and get vaccinated, you have a greater risk, if you are vaccinated and you get COVID, you have a greater risk,” Marik said. In February 2023, a group of researchers from the University of Colorado seemed to affirm Marik’s contention. After assessing a small group of patients with myocarditis, they concluded: “These observations suggest that myocardial injury during COVID-19 or after mRNA vaccination may be produced by the same Spike protein–based mechanism, which may be amenable to preventative or therapeutic strategies.”

A second argument against the hypothesis is that there simply isn’t enough spike released into the blood after vaccination to cause the kinds of issues we’ve seen in COVID patients. “The low doses of the spike protein in the vaccine, in our experiments anyway, didn’t cause any recognizable damage,” Dr. Nuovo told Tablet. Nonetheless, Nuovo abstained from getting his third vaccine dose because “the initial vaccine data showed that people who didn’t get the booster were still very well protected against severe COVID, and the second point was I didn’t see the point of introducing more spike protein into my body if there was no benefit to be coming from it … because the spike protein per se does have some toxicity associated with it.”

There is another way that the vaccines might be causing harm. Due to FOIA requests from Judicial Watch and others, we now know that the vaccine material travels beyond the upper arm muscle throughout the body, in spite of the CDC’s web page maintaining the 2020 narrative that it stays put. Because the vaccines were designed to express the full-length spike protein in our cells, some researchers like professor Mehedi worry that the vaccines could be inducing a major attack of the immune system against healthy cells throughout the body. “An unfortunate & unimaginable detrimental consequence … face[d] by everyone who took it due to a poor and unacceptable design by the low-grade researchers and opportunistic makers.”

That kind of candor is hard to come by when the price for expressing an idea or trying to test a theory can be the destruction of one’s career and social life, as happened to numerous researchers and scientists, including Marik. For his views on COVID treatment in the ICU, like not wanting to use the highly toxic antiviral drug remdesivir, and probably for his stated viewpoint on the spike protein and vaccines, Marik was suspended from his role as ICU director of Sentara General Hospital in Norfolk, Virginia, in late 2021. He resigned from his role as professor at East Virginia Medical School shortly after. Marik says his colleagues no longer talk to him. “Not a single one.”

Yet, the data has a way of piling up, even if many in science, media, and government have avoided acknowledging its implications: By October of last year there had been at least 1,250 studies published in medical journals documenting events as disparate as Bell’s palsy, multiple sclerosis, central venous thrombosis, encephalitis, inflammatory bowel disease, myocarditis, etc. after vaccination. For one awful example, take this recent case report from Tokushima University in Japan documenting the “fatal multi organ inflammation” of a 14-year-old girl after her booster. Then there are the adverse event-monitoring systems, the joint-run CDC/FDA VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) being the most notable. As of March 31, 2023, there have been over 1.5 million adverse events reported in the system, with nearly 200,000 involving hospitalization. While VAERS is a very imperfect system, with some critics claiming massive underreporting and others, overreporting, there is a clear signal that injuries are occurring. German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said in a March 2023 interview that the rate of “serious vaccination damage” may be as high as 1 in 10,000.

Defining the ultimate numbers of how many people are being affected by various side effects is a difficult task, but looking at the original trial data does give some context. Last September, a team of researchers, including two from UCLA, one from Stanford, and one editor of the British Medical Journal, published a study in Vaccine titled, “Serious adverse events of special interest following mRNA COVID-19 vaccination in randomized trials in adults,” which reviewed the Pfizer and Moderna trial data. While the investigators note that their study was hampered by their lack of access to the raw data, which the companies have not made available, they concluded that, “The excess risk of serious adverse events found in our study points to the need for formal harm-benefit analyses, particularly those that are stratified according to risk of serious COVID-19 outcomes.”

It is too early to say definitively if these vaccine injuries are caused by the spike protein (or the proprietary lipid nanoparticles or the fragmented, low-quality mRNA or something else) but there is certainly enough evidence to consider this as a possibility. And yet the doctors and scientists who have been trying to raise significant questions have been often ignored, bullied, or silenced.

Bret Weinstein’s podcast was demonetized on YouTube. Walter Chesnut was removed from Twitter for half of 2022. A peer-reviewed paper, which concluded that the spike protein can actually damage our DNA’s ability to repair itself—not all that distant from what Chesnut is now proposing—was retracted by the journal Viruses, though the explanation seemed at least as political as purely scientific. Indeed, in working on this piece, Microsoft Word even prevented me from opening the link to Chesnut and Montagnier’s France Soir article about the aging hypothesis, stating in its pop-up warning, “conclusions related to vaccine safety are not validated and lacked experimental support.” The state of California passed a law last year that essentially muzzles doctors from offering a dissenting opinion on the “contemporary scientific consensus” on COVID. Professor Mehedi, who is more concerned about the vaccines turning the immune system against our cells than about spike, told Tablet that doubts he’s raised about the vaccine design and the subsequent potential for damage are simply ignored by his fellow scientists. “Nobody listen[s] to me, even,” he said, adding: “We are not critical thinkers.”

The COVID epoch is still very young. SARS-CoV-2 most likely didn’t exist before 2019; mRNA tech has been in the works for 30 years, but it had never been deployed widely in humans until 2021. The Moderna vaccine was designed in two days, with the company’s CEO, Stepháne Bancel, telling The New York Times, “this is not a complicated virus.” The vaccine’s adverse events, meanwhile, have been studied for only about two years now, and have been downplayed by our public health apparatus and media. There are immunologists who believe that repeated exposure to SARS-CoV-2 could be extremely detrimental to our basic immune function over time, and others who believe the vaccine can cause similar devastation to our defenses, both potentially explaining the reemergence of rare latent viral syndromes and fungal infections now emerging around the world. We don’t know what we don’t know. In fact, we’re just starting to find out.


23 April, 2023

The Smoking Gun in the Senate Report on Covid Origins

Yesterday, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee released its full report, detailing the evidence that researchers affiliated with the Wuhan Institute of Virology started working on a vaccine for the virus that causes Covid-19 before the rest of the world had even heard about the virus. In this light, it is not surprising that most Americans agree with the FBI and Livermore Labs: The most likely cause of the Covid-19 pandemic was a lab accident at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

How Could the Wuhan Lab Research a Covid Vaccine before the Outbreak?

By 2019 the Wuhan Institute of Virology had collected, at a minimum, approximately 20,000 bat- and other animal-virus samples from field expeditions conducted all across China.

After going into caves and other locations to collect the samples and, in some cases, live bats, researchers would take the samples back to Wuhan, where they “routinely underwent initial evaluation in Biosafety Level 2 settings where they were first evaluated, usually by graduate students, for the presence of SARS-related beta coronaviruses. If viruses were present, researchers then attempted to isolate and sequence the virus.”

This information is in the full report on the origin of Covid-19 released yesterday by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. The report is 300 pages and has 1,570 footnotes.

The information about the Biosafety Level 2 labs comes from a thesis on the “Geographic Evolution of Bat SARS-related Coronaviruses” submitted to the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences by Yu Ping, a graduate student pursuing a degree of Master of Natural Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, supervised by Professor Cui Jie and Professor Shi Zheng-Li, which was published in June 2019. You can read that thesis here. You may recognize the name Shi Zhengli, the Chinese virologist nicknamed “Bat Woman” for her work with that species, the one who told Scientific American early in the pandemic that when she first heard about the virus spreading through Wuhan, she initially wondered, “Could they have come from our lab?”

This is significant because the safety standards at Biosafety Level 2 labs are not as extensive and stringent as those at Biosafety Level 4 labs. Level 2 labs handle bacteria and viruses such as Lyme Disease and the standard flu; Level 3 labs handle more dangerous pathogens such as anthrax and HIV; and Level 4 labs handle the most dangerous viruses, such as Ebola.

Last week, the Washington Post published an excellent report examining the safety record of China’s government-run laboratories overall, not just focusing on the Wuhan Institute of Virology or the Wuhan Centers for Disease Control. The opening anecdote is terrifying:

In the summer of 2019, a mysterious accident occurred inside a government-run biomedical complex in north-central China, a facility that handles a pathogen notorious for its ability to pass easily from animals to humans.

There were no alarms or flashing lights to alert workers to the defect in a sanitation system that was supposed to kill germs in the vaccine plant’s waste. When the system failed in late July that year, millions of airborne microbes began seeping invisibly from exhaust vents and drifting into nearby neighborhoods. Nearly a month passed before the problem was discovered and fixed, and four months before the public was informed. By then, at least 10,000 people had been exposed, with hundreds developing symptomatic illnesses, scientific studies later concluded.

The events occurred not in Wuhan, the city where the coronavirus pandemic began, but in another Chinese city, Lanzhou, 800 miles to the northwest. The leaking pathogens were bacteria that cause brucellosis, a common livestock disease that can lead to chronic illness or even death in humans if not treated. As the pandemic enters its fourth year, new details about the little-known Lanzhou incident offer a revealing glimpse into a much larger — and largely hidden — struggle with biosafety across China in late 2019, at the precise moment when both the brucellosis incident and the coronavirus outbreak were coming to light.

Perhaps the most chilling quote in the article comes from biosecurity expert Robert Hawley, “who for years oversaw safety programs at the U.S. Army’s maximum-containment lab at Fort Detrick, Md.” Hawley told the Post he saw “‘imprudent’ lab practices in inspection reports obtained by a congressional oversight committee.”

“It is very, very apparent that their biological safety training is minimal,” Hawley said.

The closest thing to a smoking gun in the full Senate report is the evidence that researchers affiliated with the Wuhan Institute of Virology began working on a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, before almost anyone else in the world had heard of the virus:

November 2019 also appears to be the timeframe that PLA researchers began development of at least two SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Professor Zhou Yusen, Director of the 5th Institute at the Academy of Military Medical Sciences (AMMS), worked with the WIV, and possibly at the WIV, episodically, for several years prior to the pandemic. Zhou or AMMS researchers may have been working at the WIV no later than the Fall of 2019 conducting research for a paper that he coauthored with two WIV researchers, Shi Zhengli and Chen Jing, on a known adverse effect of SARS-related vaccines and antibody treatments. There is reason to believe Zhou was engaged in SARS-related coronavirus animal vaccine research with WIV researchers beginning no later than the Summer or early Fall of 2019. Zhou submitted one of the first COVID-19 vaccine patents on February 24, 2020.

The patent includes mouse-derived serological data from vaccine-related experiments which experts, consulted with during this investigation, assess could not have been completed unless Zhou’s team began work on vaccine development before the known outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in late December 2019. The research required both access to the sequence of and the live SARS-CoV-2 virus. Several experts assessed that Zhou likely would have had to start this vaccine development research no later than November 2019 to achieve the February patent submission date. Zhou later published transgenic mouse infection and vaccine challenge studies in mice, including humanized mice and non-human primates. The location(s) where Zhou’s animal vaccine challenge studies were performed was not disclosed. There is reason to believe that these vaccine experiments were performed at the original WIV’s downtown Wuhan campus and possibly at the Wuhan University Institute of Animal Models located approximately a mile from the WIV.

PLA AMMS Major General Wei Chen led a second, separate, effort to develop another candidate COVID-19 vaccine. Chen collaborated with the China state-owned biopharmaceutical company SinoPharm. Chen’s vaccine experiments with humanized mice, ferrets and non-human primates occurred at the Harbin veterinary research facility BSL-4 laboratory in northern China.124 Human clinical trials began in mid- March 2020. Chen submitted a patent for her vaccine March 18, 2020 Based on this timeline, experts believe Chen would have had to begin her vaccine efforts no later than early December 2019. Chen’s vaccine candidate was also dependent on the availability of SARS-CoV-2’s genetic sequence that would not be published until January 11, 2020. However, unlike Zhou, there is no evidence that Chen’s vaccine efforts were associated geographically or temporally with the initial COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan.

This is further evidence that the Chinese government knew it was dealing with a contagious virus and deliberately lied to the rest of world that there was “no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission” up until January 20, 2020.

This is one of the many maddening aspects of this matter. Even if this all traces back to a natural transmission of someone ordering bat soup or grilled pangolin in a seafood market, or as Jon Stewart memorably characterized it, “Maybe a bat flew into the cloaca of a turkey and then it sneezed into my chili,” the Chinese government was still lying when the world needed the truth and lives were at stake. We all had years of our lives taken away from us because the Chinese government refused to acknowledge that there was a contagious virus spreading around their country and the world. In the month of January 2020, more than 1,300 flights from China arrived at 17 U.S. airports, carrying roughly 381,000 passengers.

When did the Covid-19 pandemic start? The Senate HELP committee report indicates that people in Wuhan were starting to notice an abnormal rate of viral infections in October and November:

Eyewitness accounts, media reports, epidemiological modeling and additional academic studies further support October 28 to November 10 as the window of emergence. Diplomats stationed at the U.S. Consulate General in Wuhan have attested to observations of what they believed at the time to be the early onset of a ‘bad flu’ season. The Deputy Consular Chief recalled: “By mid-October 2019, the dedicated team at the U.S. Consulate General in Wuhan knew that the city had been struck by what was thought to be an unusually vicious flu season. The disease worsened in November.” These observations were reported to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing during this period.

By one measure, the argument about the lab-leak theory, which has gone on for about three years, is effectively over. Those of us who suspect human error is the cause of one of the world’s greatest modern calamities have persuaded an overwhelming majority of the American public of that.

A Quinnipiac University poll conducted in March showed 64 percent of Americans think the pandemic was “caused by a laboratory leak” and just 22 percent believe it was “caused by a natural transmission from animals to humans.” Another poll taken a week earlier by Economist/YouGov showed an even stronger split in favor of a lab leak: 66 percent to 16 percent. If I were a meaner person, I would characterize the zoonotic origin as a fringe theory.

That Senate report also acknowledges the potential for a “zoonotic spillover” — after all, either this virus or its evolutionary precursor had to be in a bat at some point — but points out the frustrating lack of conclusive evidence:

To date, China has not acknowledged the infection or positive serological sample(s) of any susceptible animal prior to the recognized outbreak. Genetic analysis of published SARS-CoV-2 sequences from the early outbreak does not show evidence of genetic adaptation reflecting passage through a susceptible animal species such as a palm civet, raccoon dog or mink. To this end, no intermediate host has been identified.

Despite these facts, three data points do present themselves to support the zoonotic origin theory. First, approximately 33 percent of the earliest known human COVID-19 cases (with symptom onset dates in mid- to late-December 2019) were associated with the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan. Second, several animal species susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 were sold live and in poor animal welfare conditions at the market. Finally, the identification of genetic sequences of raccoon dogs in samples taken from the market in early 2020 confirm that this susceptible intermediate host was at the market at the time of the outbreak. As noted, “there is no data . . . associating SARS-CoV-2 with the presence of any of these animals.” These data themselves, however, do not explain the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This Senate committee report was overseen by the now-retired North Carolina GOP senator Richard Burr. Back in November, the Charlotte Observer editorial board thundered that “Richard Burr, who typically keeps a relatively low profile, seems to be playing games on his way out of office.” The board referred to the lab-leak theory as “a Covid conspiracy,” contending that the interim report “fueled the fire of disinformation that has been blazing since the pandemic began. It also gives the COVID conspiracy theorists a new bone to chew on.”

Because Burr is usually “low profile” and isn’t a bomb-thrower, a frothing-at-the-mouth demagogue, or an unhinged conspiracy theorist, shouldn’t the editorial board sit up and take notice when he is putting his name behind a contention like this?

FBI director Christopher Wray is not a wide-eyed conspiracy theorist. The U.S. Department of Energy, and in particular the Livermore Labs’ “Z Division,” is not full of guys who believe lizard people walk among us and who insist they saw Elvis at their local convenience store. Former CDC director Robert Redfield is not some nut who believes in healing crystals and werewolves.

In the face of the biggest and most consequential mystery in modern history, some of us looked at the remarkable coincidence of a novel coronavirus most like those found in bats emerging near not one but two laboratories doing gain-of-function research on novel coronaviruses found in bats — going back to April 3, 2020, I remind you. And in response, we’ve gotten name-calling, sneers, and smears.


21 April, 2023

Some Americans Shouldn’t Get Another COVID-19 Vaccine Shot, FDA Says

A big change: The vaccines we have all been using are now de-authorized. Only the bivalents are now approved, despite there being little evidence of their effectiveness. Amazing. A "bivalent" targets more than one strain of the virus

Some Americans cannot receive another COVID-19 vaccine dose, U.S. regulators said on April 18, as they made sweeping changes to the vaccine system.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the changes, including replacing the old Pfizer and Moderna vaccines with updated bivalent shots that had previously only been available as boosters.

Regulators are also scaling back the number of recommended doses for most individuals, including people who haven’t received a shot.

Key changes include:

Most unvaccinated Americans are still being encouraged to get a COVID-19 vaccine but only need a single dose of a bivalent, the FDA said. The exception is young children. Children aged 6 months through 5 years can receive two doses of Moderna’s bivalent while those aged 6 months through 4 years can get three doses of Pfizer’s bivalent.

Americans who have received a primary series of a COVID-19 vaccine and one of the bivalent boosters still cannot get an additional dose, unless they’re in certain groups.

Any individual 65 years old or older can receive a bivalent dose, even if they’ve already received one, provided four months or more has elapsed since their last shot.

People aged 5 and older and deemed immune compromised can get another bivalent at least two months after their last shot, even if it was a bivalent, and can get additional doses “at the discretion of, and at intervals determined by, their healthcare provider.”

Little Data to Support Bivalents

The FDA authorized the original vaccines in late 2020 based on clinical trial efficacy data. The original vaccines targeted the Wuhan virus strain, which hasn’t circulated since 2020.

The updated bivalents target the Wuhan strain and the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of the Omicron strain. The subvariants were displaced in 2022.

Regulators authorized the bivalents as boosters in 2022 despite no clinical trial data being available. In letters formally announcing the bivalents as replacing the old vaccines, the FDA made clear that scientists aren’t sure whether the bivalents protect against COVID-19.

“Based on the totality of the scientific evidence available, FDA concluded that it is reasonable to believe that Pfizer-BioNTech COVID?19 Vaccine, Bivalent may be effective in individuals 6 months of age and older for the prevention of COVID-19,” the letter to Pfizer states. The same language was used for Moderna’s shot.

Most of the data supporting Pfizer’s expanded authorization comes from the old vaccines and a bivalent that has never been used in the United States. The only trial data for the available bivalent showed that children had higher levels of neutralizing antibodies when they received a bivalent. Antibodies are thought to protect against COVID-19.

No clinical trial data for Moderna’s shot was cited, and no efficacy data was cited for either vaccine.

Dr. Peter Marks, a top FDA vaccine official, claimed in a briefing that “the available data continue [to] demonstrate that vaccines prevent all serious outcomes from COVID-19, including hospitalization and death.” It’s not clear which data he was citing, and the FDA did not respond to a request for comment.

The FDA cited a single observational study in its letter to Pfizer. English researchers reported in The Lancet that vaccination with an old vaccine in addition to previous infection provided strong protection against symptomatic COVID-19 through March 2022. Other research has found that prior infection alone is as good as or better than vaccination.

Other observational studies have found the updated vaccines provide transient protection against hospitalization and poor protection against infection.

Seroprevalence data indicates a majority of Americans have recovered from COVID-19, the FDA noted. That’s an important acknowledgement, Dr. Monica Gandhi, a professor of medicine at the University of California–San Francisco, told The Epoch Times in an email.

Gandhi said she agrees that only the elderly and immune suppressed should receive another dose, as opposed to the entire population. Dr. Harvey Risch, professor emeritus of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health, said that he sees the vaccines as largely unnecessary.

“The current vaccines are out-of-date, any new ones will be out-of-date by the time they are generally available, and mostly everybody already has SARS-CoV-2 antibodies anyway,” Risch told The Epoch Times via email. “At this point, the vaccines are thus not generally useful products for serving a public health function.”

Change Made to Boost Uptake

Uptake of the vaccines was high after they were authorized, but has dropped considerably since. Just 16.7 percent of the U.S. population has received a bivalent shot, compared to 69.4 percent who received a primary series of the old vaccine.

FDA officials said the changes announced on April 18 were made to simplify the vaccine composition, reduce the complexity of the available doses, and increase uptake.

“This approach will help us achieve higher vaccination coverage across the country,” Marks told reporters. “If anything comes out of this action, we’re hoping that it can encourage people who have not received the bivalent booster to go out and consider getting one.”

The newly rolled out system is for the spring, as officials are planning to meet over the summer to discuss a fall regimen. They plan to adapt COVID-19 vaccines to the influenza model, updating strains in the vaccines each year.

Advisers to the agency backed the pivot to bivalents in a January discussion. Some said they favor updating the strains in the future.


Prominent AIIMS Physician-Scientist Suggests COVID-19 Booster Shot May Do More Harm than Good

A physician with India’s All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, a group of autonomous public medical universities of higher education under the jurisdiction of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, went on the record for Indian media recently that for those that have already been infected by SARS-COV-2, the booster may “do more harm than good.” However, he didn’t elaborate on the basis for that statement. With rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in India, Dr. Sanjay Rai recently expressed his opinion that despite the fact that many experts are advising the COVID-19 booster, at this point during the pandemic, the booster may do more harm than good. The context is a rising COVID-19 infection rate in India but also in other Asian nations such as Japan, China, and South Korea. TrialSite’s founder Daniel O’Connor also had a fascinating discussion with Dr. Rai, who pointed to mounting evidence plus decades of public health science as backing his position. He also referenced that in addition to the 11 COVID-19 vaccines currently under emergency listing by World Health Organization (WHO), at least another 382 such products are listed by WHO in either clinical development or preclinical development. He pondered what could be driving such an enormous product development push?

Rising cases

According to multiple media and the Indian government, cases of COVID-19 have surged in India, with over 10,700 cases reported; 1,500 more cases were registered in New Delhi, with a purported infection rate at 33%. See a breakdown of India cases (and other data). Clearly, the number of cases is minuscule compared to previous waves. Hence the advisory for all to get the booster if they have not been vaccinated within a certain period of time based on the current Indian schedule.

A critical point of view

Yet Dr. Sanjay Rai, an AIIMS Hospital professor of Community Medicine in New Delhi, shared his opinion recently that the booster dose may not be advised, as reported in India Times Healthworld.

“Due to the mutation in the RNA virus, the cases will continue to increase and decrease. The situation will continue like this in the coming times as well. There is no need to panic about this. The people that will get infected with the new variants will create new immunity. But despite all this, the more important thing is whether the severity, hospitalization, or the death rate is increasing.”

He continued, “In the initial phase of COVID, when people were not infected in large numbers, people did not have herd immunity, then they needed more vaccines. But now, almost all the people have herd immunity, then they needed more vaccines. But now almost all the people in the country have been infected, after which natural immunity has been formed in them. This is more effective in protecting against any virus than the vaccine. Also, we cannot stop any new web with the vaccine, it only reduces death and severity. Giving more steroids to prevent infection may do you more harm than good.”

Further discussing the topic of natural immunity, Dr. Rai pointed to a growing body of research backing his position on natural immunity.

“And you have been protected from death and severity for a long time. At present, both corona and influenza are infecting people. Influenza is a viral infection that comes every year and infects people according to season. How effective will the booster dose of the vaccine be? No research has come to the fore regarding this. Only on the basis of possibilities we cannot say that booster dose will be beneficial for people at this time.”

Heavily vaxxed societies

Dr. Rai points out to heavily vaccinated societies such as Japan, where the cases of SARS-CoV-2 continue to come and go and come again.

“All these countries have been highly vaccinated, Japan has got 4 doses of the vaccine, yet the corona infection was once again spreading very fast there. COVID-19 spread rapidly even after vaccination in these countries because they kept zero COVID-19, people did not have natural infection due to which people got infected even after being vaccinated.”

Emphasizing the superiority of natural infection to vaccine-induced protection—not a discussion that will be as freely discussed in North America—the key point is that if a person hasn’t been infected then they should get vaccinated.

Rai continued:

“There is no research on how effective the booster dose will be if you are already infected. And if this new variant is infecting you by bypassing natural immunity, then it can also bypass the vaccine and infect you.”

TrialSite discussion

TrialSite had a brief discussion with Dr. Rai, who was familiar with the media platform. The AIIMS physician-scientist informed Daniel O’Connor that his position is based on the accumulation of evidence in clinical trials and real-world data over the past three years of the pandemic. Dr. Rai shared that the SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 aren't new now—“We have a lot of data, and that must truly be evidence-based, not acting out of a fear-based impulse.”

Rai emphasized that he has conducted at least ten COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials, including a booster study in India. He is very much pro-vaccine and simply is following what he knows is as the standard science and sound public health principles he has learned throughout his career.

The AIIMs doctor suggested a comparison with polio or smallpox, pointing to very good, stable sterilizing vaccines with the current COVID-19 reality. For example, Rai pointed to the World Health Organization (WHO) tracker with 11 vaccines granted emergency listing with 183 vaccines in various stages of clinical development and even another 199 vaccines in preclinical development.

Again, comparing the polio and smallpox or measles and mumps vaccine reality with COVID-19, with at least 382 COVID vaccines in either clinical or preclinical development, Rai suggested there could be other vested interests driving such a reality. See the WHO COVID-19 vaccine tracker.

Dr. Rai pondered aloud in the discussion, “What kind of vested interests are behind this global product development push?”

On to the endemic reality
The AIIMS doctor continued to emphasize that what Indian society (and other places around the world) are now dealing with will go on forever. So, assuming he is correct (and this media cannot be certain one way or another), this means that much like the flu, COVID-19 is here to stay.


20 April, 2023

US Compensates People Injured by COVID-19 Vaccines for First Time

The United States has for the first time paid people who were injured by COVID-19 vaccines.

Three people received compensation for their injuries through the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP), run by an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services, officials said in a new update.

One person who suffered severe allergic shock received $2,019, according to the agency, the Health Resources and Services Administration. One person who suffered heart inflammation, or myocarditis, received $1,582. Another who suffered myocarditis received $1,032.

The manufacturer of the vaccines was not made public. Information about the people who received the payments has also not been made public.

The payouts mark the first time the U.S. government has paid people who were injured by the COVID-19 vaccines, which can cause serious problems as well as death and were first introduced in late 2020.

Under the CICP, people who survive their vaccine-induced injury can receive money for unreimbursed medical expenses and lost employment income.

The newly granted compensation appears to only be for medical expenses, Wayne Rohde, author of The Vaccine Court, told The Epoch Times.

“These amounts are so low that you can credibly assume that this was just only for unreimbursed medical expenses, and that’s it,” Rohde said. “It’s unconscionable what they’re doing, but that’s this program.”

Most previous payments were for people injured by an H1N1 vaccine, including for Guillain-Barre syndrome. Some received hundreds or thousands of dollars. Eight received at least $106,723. The highest payment on record is $2.2 million.

The Health Resources and Services Administration, which runs the program, did not respond to requests for comment.


The CICP is the only venue people can get compensation from the federal government because of the COVID-19 emergency declaration first issued during the Trump administration. Most vaccines administered in the United States are covered by the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. People who receive compensation through the latter are eligible for more money, in part because more categories are covered, have longer to file, and can have attorney fees covered.

To get compensation from the CICP, a person must prove a “causal connection” between the vaccine taken and a serious physical injury or death, with the connection being supported by “compelling, reliable, valid, medical and scientific evidence.” The person must also show unreimbursed medical expenses or that they lost income because they were unable to work due to the injury.

Relatives of people who died can ask for survivor death benefits.

The cap for CICP on death benefits is $423,000 and the cap on lost wages is $50,000 but key questions remain, including whether survivors automatically get a full payout if their claim is approved and whether future medical care for the injured could be covered, Rohde said.

Program administrators have largely declined to share details about the program’s payments and claims that have been rejected.

While the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program payments come from a pool formed through a tax on each vaccine, CICP payments are made from appropriations from Congress.

Still Waiting

The first COVID-19 vaccines were authorized in December 2020. A third was cleared in the spring of 2021. They were promoted widely by U.S. health officials and taken by hundreds of millions of Americans.

Historic numbers of adverse events following vaccination have been reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, helping authorities determine that events like severe allergic shock, or anaphylaxis, and myocarditis are caused by the vaccines.

While anyone can enter a report into the reporting system, the CICP only accepts applications filed within one year of an event. The program also only covers a small number of events at present, though what it covers exactly has not been made public.

As of April 1, 8,133 applications to CICP allege injuries and/or deaths from COVID-19 vaccines. Hundreds have been denied because of a lack of sufficient medical records or other problems, authorities say. Thousands more are pending review or are being reviewed.

Just 23 have been determined to meet the standard for compensation, including the three that were compensated.

One person suffered myocarditis from a COVID-19 vaccine but did not have “eligible reported losses or expenses,” according to CICP administrators.

Of the remaining 19 applicants waiting for compensation, 18 suffered from myocarditis, a related condition called pericarditis, or a combination of myocarditis and pericarditis. The other approved claim was for angioedema, a skin condition.


One Moment He Was in Command of a 150,000-Pound Plane, Next He Was Technically Dead

On a clear spring day in 2022, Capt. Bob Snow steered an Airbus A321 toward its destination gate, as he had done thousands of times during his 31-year career with American Airlines.

But Snow almost didn’t live to talk about Flight 1067 from Denver to Dallas. Shortly after arriving safely in Texas, Snow collapsed in the cockpit. He was in cardiac arrest.

The crisis struck without warning; Snow had felt fine that day. He was a healthy, lean 60-year-old with no history of heart trouble.

However, Snow had taken a COVID-19 injection under the threat of being fired from his job; Snow believes the shot put him at greater risk for a sudden cardiac malfunction.

Regardless of what touched off the medical emergency, it rendered Snow unconscious. And if he had blacked out just a few minutes sooner, the plane’s co-pilot (officially called a “first officer”) would have been under extreme pressure to prevent a terrible accident.

Instead, circumstances aligned perfectly to avert tragedy for Snow, his co-pilot, and their planeload of about 175 passengers.

“I count my lucky stars, and I count my blessings,” Snow told The Epoch Times in March as the first anniversary of his near-fatal encounter approached. While grateful for being alive, Snow laments being robbed of his health, which disqualifies him from flying airplanes—a lifelong passion.

In a widely circulated video, shot while he was still hospitalized, Snow became one of the nation’s first pilots to go public with vaccine-related concerns. He remains convinced that more investigation is needed, especially because once-rare reports of pilot incapacitations seem to be happening more frequently. Seven pilot incapacitations made headlines last month.


California Church Faces $1.2M Fine for Defying COVID-19 Mandates, Says Not 1 Case of Covid Traces Back to Worship Services

A California Superior Court judge ordered a church to pay more than $1 million in fines for refusing to comply with COVID-19 mask mandates during the pandemic.

The church, Calvary Chapel San Jose, slammed the ruling and Santa Clara County’s efforts to defend the fines in court, arguing that not one case of COVID-19 has been traced back to the church’s worship services.

“There hasn’t been a single COVID-19 case traced to the church. To claim that this about public safety is just false,” Bob Tyler, president of Advocates for Faith & Freedom, which represents the church in court, told The Daily Signal in a statement Monday following the ruling Thursday. “In actuality, this is about the right of churchgoers to freely practice their faith without interfere or discrimination.”

“The church just wants to be afforded the same treatment and consideration as liquor stores, strip clubs, and other so-called essential businesses,” Tyler added.

Judge Evette Pennypacker ruled that Santa Clara County’s masking and social distancing orders were lawful and that the church had to pay $1.2 million in fines for violating them.

While the church had pointed out that some other institutions had received conditional and temporary exemptions for mask requirements, the court rejected the claim that these exemptions undermined the county’s authority to impose requirements on the church. A fire chief, for example, legally removed his mask to exercise in close proximity to his colleagues. By contrast, Calvary Chapel worshippers removed their masks for an entire service.

The judge ruled that the Christian church’s leaders “repeatedly announced their refusal to comply with masking requirements, never reported to the county that they had come into compliance with the masking requirement, and to this day maintain that they were never required to comply with that requirement at any time under any circumstances.”

“It should appear clear to all—regardless of religious affiliation—that wearing a mask while worshiping one’s god and communing with other congregants is a simple, unobtrusive, giving way to protect others while still exercising your right to religious freedom,” Pennypacker wrote. “Unfortunately, [church leaders] repeatedly refused to model, much less, enforce this gesture. Instead, they repeatedly flouted their refusal to comply with the public health orders and urged others to do so ‘who cares what the cost,’ including death.”

However, Pennypacker rejected further fines that the county had imposed, ruling that the extra fines amounted to “fining [Calvary Chapel] for the same violation twice.”

“The court was partially correct when it declared almost $2 million of the $3 million in fines to be unlawful,” Tyler told The Daily Signal. “The State Court’s legal analysis is simply flawed as to the remaining fines.”

He said the church plans to appeal the ruling and he expressed hope that “the court of appeal will ultimately correct the error by declaring all of the fines unconstitutional.”


19 April, 2023

Physio-metabolic and clinical consequences of wearing face masks—Systematic review with meta-analysis and comprehensive evaluation

Kai Kisielinski et al

Background: As face masks became mandatory in most countries during the COVID-19 pandemic, adverse effects require substantiated investigation.

Methods: A systematic review of 2,168 studies on adverse medical mask effects yielded 54 publications for synthesis and 37 studies for meta-analysis (on n = 8,641, m = 2,482, f = 6,159, age = 34.8 ± 12.5). The median trial duration was only 18 min (IQR = 50) for our comprehensive evaluation of mask induced physio-metabolic and clinical outcomes.

Results: We found significant effects in both medical surgical and N95 masks, with a greater impact of the second. These effects included decreased SpO2 (overall Standard Mean Difference, SMD = ?0.24, 95% CI = ?0.38 to ?0.11, p < 0.001) and minute ventilation (SMD = ?0.72, 95% CI = ?0.99 to ?0.46, p < 0.001), simultaneous increased in blood-CO2 (SMD = +0.64, 95% CI = 0.31–0.96, p < 0.001), heart rate (N95: SMD = +0.22, 95% CI = 0.03–0.41, p = 0.02), systolic blood pressure (surgical: SMD = +0.21, 95% CI = 0.03–0.39, p = 0.02), skin temperature (overall SMD = +0.80 95% CI = 0.23–1.38, p = 0.006) and humidity (SMD +2.24, 95% CI = 1.32–3.17, p < 0.001). Effects on exertion (overall SMD = +0.9, surgical = +0.63, N95 = +1.19), discomfort (SMD = +1.16), dyspnoea (SMD = +1.46), heat (SMD = +0.70), and humidity (SMD = +0.9) were significant in n = 373 with a robust relationship to mask wearing (p < 0.006 to p < 0.001). Pooled symptom prevalence (n = 8,128) was significant for: headache (62%, p < 0.001), acne (38%, p < 0.001), skin irritation (36%, p < 0.001), dyspnoea (33%, p < 0.001), heat (26%, p < 0.001), itching (26%, p < 0.001), voice disorder (23%, p < 0.03), and dizziness (5%, p = 0.01).

Discussion: Masks interfered with O2-uptake and CO2-release and compromised respiratory compensation. Though evaluated wearing durations are shorter than daily/prolonged use, outcomes independently validate mask-induced exhaustion-syndrome (MIES) and down-stream physio-metabolic disfunctions. MIES can have long-term clinical consequences, especially for vulnerable groups. So far, several mask related symptoms may have been misinterpreted as long COVID-19 symptoms. In any case, the possible MIES contrasts with the WHO definition of health.

Conclusion: Face mask side-effects must be assessed (risk-benefit) against the available evidence of their effectiveness against viral transmissions. In the absence of strong empirical evidence of effectiveness, mask wearing should not be mandated let alone enforced by law.


COVID-19 May Have Troubling Impacts—May Shrink Numerous Parts of the Brain

What are the prolonged neurological clinical consequences related to brain changes in persons with mild COVID-19 infection, if any? Researchers from India sought to answer this and other questions via a systemic review of investigations targeting COVID-19 and the human brain. What is the possible connection of COVID-19 and direct brain injury via encephalopathy (a disease of the brain that alters brain function or structure), for example?

In this review, the investigators, including corresponding author Puranam Revanth Kumar, Ph.D., affiliated with IFHE University, Hyderabad, found that when compared to a control group, study subjects who tested positive for COVID-19 presented more brain shrinkage, grey matter shrinkage and tissue damage. This damage primarily afflicts segments of the human brain linked to odor, ambiguity, strokes, reduced attention, headaches, sensor abnormalities, depression and mental abilities for a few months post the first infection.

Published in the Journal of Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, TrialSite provides a breakdown of this study result---outcomes which didn’t find much media attention in North America.

While SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind COVID-19, leads to respiratory disease, the novel coronavirus infection can also have negative impacts on the brain. This means that the disease symptoms are not just limited to respiratory systems but rather can impact other organs in the human body.

Viruses, in general, can affect neurological systems. With COVID-19, numerous studies point to significant incidences of neurological and cognitive abnormalities in the infected. Citing studies such as Raahimi et al., 2021, the current authors point to evidence that COVID-19 can impact the brain directly.

Does COVID-19 invade the human brain?

In this study, the authors from India point to evidence that SARS-CoV-2 is able to penetrate the brain. Here the systematic review of existing studies reveals that even mild COVID-19 infection can shrink the brain by up to 2%. The team reported that based on their evaluation of existing studies (some using various scans), patients with COVID-19, even a mild version, can lose up to 0.2% to 2% of their olfactory cortex (part of the brain that helps with smell).

Summary of review

The latest study published in the peer-reviewed journal Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, authored by Puranam Revanth Kumar, B Shilpa, and Rajesh Kumar Jha, reports that continued neurological clinical consequences related to brain changes can occur in individuals with mild forms of COVID-19. When compared to a control group, people identified as positive had more brain and grey matter shrinkage and tissue damage.

The team based in the southern India city of Hyderabad reported, “The damage occurs predominantly in areas of the brain that are associated with odor, ambiguity, strokes, reduced attention, headaches, sensory abnormalities, depression, and mental abilities for a few months after the first infection.”

Even a mild COVID-19 infection shows the potential to shrink an individual’s brain. And the symptoms are offering lots of supporting data points---after all, the viral infection can trigger all sorts of mental/behavioral health and neurologically related conditions from brain fog to loss of smell. The researchers point to numerous autopsy studies supporting the premise.


Canadian Nurse Sues Health System for Dismissal Over Covid Concerns

The Covid pandemic introduced the world to a different form of discrimination, and fast. An intense bias against the unvaccinated, even though the science revealed by late spring 2021 that the vaccine would not stop transmission. The primary benefit of COVID-19 vaccination is that it reduced the chances of more severe symptoms leading to hospitalization or worse—but the protective effects didn’t last long hence the need for booster doses. As it’s been pointed out, vaccination is a medical procedure, and in most cases a patient has a right to participate or not participate. However, moves made by governments and private entities around the world to encourage vaccination are leading to severe restrictions on those who choose to refuse the vaccine.

In many cases a vaccine mandate was a condition of employment and resulted in lawsuits by public servants. Such vaccination requirements are actually nothing new once a vaccine has been established as safe and effective. Persons employed by the military or in health systems traditionally were required to take certain vaccines. Of course, the childhood vaccination schedule has critical vaccine recommendations adopted as mandatory by schools.

But in the case of COVID-19 with a rapidly-developed, non-sterilizing vaccine (doesn’t stop the transmission) substantial numbers were cautious or “hesitant”. About 30% of the U.S. population opted to not receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Just under 20% of Canada’s population decided to not receive the vaccines. One of those persons was a nurse now suing a healthcare provider in Canada, claiming she was wrongfully dismissed because of her views on vaccination and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Concerns About how the Pandemic was “Managed”

Debra Carritt was employed in the healthcare sector since 1993 as an emergency medical technician and paramedic. In 2012 she started working as a nurse for the Alberta Health System (AHS). She then rose to the level of a unit manager. When the pandemic hit in 2020, Carritt voiced concerns about the way AHS was handling the crisis. She was subsequently dismissed for her opinion the health system had “open discrimination judgement and hostility toward” unvaccinated patients and staff and treated them with “harassment and discrimination.” Carritt alleges AHS tried to coerce the staff into getting vaccinated.

Filed a Lawsuit After Dismissal

In September of 2021 Carritt wrote a letter to the Chief Executive Officer of AHS claiming the provincial health system was mismanaging the crisis which led to bed shortages because AHS was “supporting fear mongering by media agencies and the government by recording and sharing daily virus infection statistics despite similar statistics not being kept and shared for any previous infectious disease outbreaks”.

These concerns were outlined in both her letters, which received no response from management. After getting no response Carritt sent another letter six days later. That letter also was shunned by AHS. Carritt then gave an online interview because she felt she “had exhausted all of the formal grievance and reporting mechanisms.” The interview was conducted with a media organization labelled right wing. She was fired in December of 2021.

44 Page Claim

According to the 44 page “statement of claim” filed by Carritt with the Court of King’s Bench in Calgary, Alberta AHS failed “to acknowledge or comprehend the adverse health effects members of the public would experience though continued 'fight or flight' reactions experienced as a result of those individuals living with a continued heightened sense of fear through conditions AHS created".

Regarding her interview, the claim says, "Mrs. Carritt expressly denies that her representations and conduct during the interview violated the (social media and e-professionalism guidelines) as alleged or at all. In the alternative, Mrs. Carritt states, and the fact is, that her representations and conduct during the interview met and exemplified the standards in those guidelines by, among other things, complying with her 'professional and ethical obligations to protect the public and maintain conduct that reflects trustworthiness.” She is seeking over $420,000 in lost pay and another $250,000 in punitive damages as well as $3 million for alleged negligence. The lawsuit was filed on March 17, 2023.

Received a Disciplinary Note

In January of 2022, Carritt received a disciplinary note from the College & Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta saying Carritt "failed to demonstrate adequate judgement and failed to demonstrate a professional presence" during her media interview. The note continues saying Carritt made statement regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, Covid-19 vaccination and related issues that did not align with one or more employer policies and that were potentially misleading, after identifying herself as a registered nurse and that she worked as a unit manager working for a major health authority."

According to the note Carritt agreed to complete a “reflexive essay” and pay a fine. For whatever reason, during the Covid crisis, even with authorities claiming concern about public health and public safety, when healthcare workers voiced opinions about rules and mandates, concern got tossed, as employers and governments followed rigid, hierarchical marching orders.


18 April, 2023

Infant/Young Children Antibody Response Against SARS-CoV-2 Infection: Duration Markedly Superior to Adults

Push to vaccinate children not based on the facts

Researchers affiliated with Emory University in Atlanta and colleagues represented by Jens Wrammert, Ph.D., investigated the natural immune response of children. Although understudied during the earlier parts of the pandemic, it emerged that adults could mount broad and durable immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, the natural immunity features in children remain understudied and not well understood.

Interestingly, although severe cases of SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind COVID-19, have in all reality been quite rare in the infant/child cohort, infants as young as six months old to young children became intense targets for vaccination by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In this study, the Emory University physicians and scientists, along with colleagues, investigated humoral responses to COVID-19 in 23 infants/young children prior to and post-COVID-19 infection. Finding that in this vulnerable cohort, antibody responses to SARS-COV-2 spike antigens peaked about 30 days after infection, they were maintained for 500 days with minimal decay—representing a major finding.

The results of the findings here cannot be ignored (although they need to be peer-reviewed and published)—infants and young children’s natural immune response to COVID-19 appears to last markedly longer than adults! Yet this group was targeted intensively for vaccination with little data associated with this vulnerable cohorts’ immune response and COVID-19.

The findings

Finding that the levels of humoral responses in the infant and children cohort were comparable to a recovered adult cohort who recovered from mild/moderate COVID-19, the authors report “both binding and neutralization titers in WT SARS-CoV-2 were more durable in infants/young children, with spike and RBD IgG antibody half-life nearly 4X as long as in adults.”

Addressing comparable “functional breadth” of both adults as well as young children and infants and their responses to COVID-19, they found a “similar reactivity against a panel of recent and previously circulating viral variants.”

Importantly when conducting an IgG subtype analysis, the study team reports the following observations:

IgG1 more prevalent in both adults and infants and young children response to SARS-CoV-2

IgG3 more frequently prevalent in adults

IgG2 more frequently prevalent in infants/young children


The study authors point out that these findings “raise important questions regarding differential regulation of humoral immunity in infants/young children and adults,” which could have implications for not only when vaccine boosters are given but also overall booster strategies in the age cohort.


First and foremost, the authors recognize that about 25% of all COVID-19 cases in infants and young children are asymptomatic and that there are few COVID-19-related deaths associated with this vulnerable age group.

But why have national health authorities been keen on vaccination of children as young as six months?

One prominent reason is because severe COVID-19 is more common in young infants as compared to older children. This is possibly because the immune system in children so young is still developing. Frankly, little is known about how the immature immune system of a six-month-old infant reacts to COVID-19, or for that matter, how COVID-19 infection may impact the young child’s immune system.

Also, the durability of the very young person to infant’s immunity is even less understood, writes the Emory University affiliated authors.

Why is it so difficult to understand young children's immune system and, thus, response to COVID-19?

It’s quite difficult to design and execute multi-sample longitudinal studies in this cohort, among other factors. Consequently, the importance of studying not only the initial magnitude but also the long-term durability of infection-induced immune responses in this vulnerable cohort (infant to young children) becomes mission critical.

So, is it possible that in absence of this vitally important data an assumption was made that vaccination for children as young as six is vitally important for protection?
Absolutely. hat assumption is bolstered by data showing (via correlates of protection) that COVID-19 vaccination induced protective antibodies in young children and infants.

But what about for a more optimized, scientifically-driven vaccination scheme in very young children and infants—isn’t more data needed?

Absolutely, and that fact represents a key driver for this study. The authors point out that “a deeper understanding of the breadth of humoral immune responses against continuously emerging viral variants in infants/young children is vital for optimizing the timing of current vaccination strategies in this age group.”

Where did the investigators in the current study obtain the data?

The study team was able to tap into and leverage findings from a prospective, longitudinal birth cohort of influenza and SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination in early life conducted at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center—known as the IMPRINT study (NCT05436184).

What’s the IMPRINT study?

As reported in the preprint server medRxiv, IMPRINT involved the weekly administration of mid-turbinate nasal swabs offering the ability to identify in real-time the presence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in infants and young children.

The study team at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, led by Principal Investigator Mary Staat, MD, MPH, collected multiple blood samples from a targeted 1,500 infant participants over a period of up to 500 days post the initial positive SARS-CoV-2 swab.

Thereafter, the study team compared and analyzed an adult cohort (involving previously collected blood samples) from patients with PCR-confirmed COVID-19 that were followed up for up to 350 days post-infection.

Why are the findings notable in this study?

The Emory University affiliated authors and colleagues point out that:

“While the initial magnitude of the SARS-CoV-2 specific antibody response in adults and infants/young children was comparable, the titers in our infant cohort were maintained over the study period, while in adults, the titers declined with a half-life of 180 days.”

The authors point to four other studies backing these findings.

What else is noteworthy in the current study?

While the investigators' most recent finding suggests a “major difference in terms of durability of humoral immunity” between adults and children (children’s natural immunity against COVID-19 last longer!), the team reports that “the breadth of these responses was similar in adults and infants/young children.” This means that the immune response was comparable against an array of SARS-CoV-2 variants.


Challenging Covid’s tyranny came at a heavy personal price

Adam Creighton

Three years ago this month my life was turned upside down when I suggested in this column we might be overreacting to Covid-19.

The column triggered a torrent of hate mail that lasted well over a year, and I began to receive persistent and violent threats. I was forced to change my name on social media accounts and my parents became seriously worried for my safety. Some of the attacks were so awful, I considered taking legal action.

It was less than a month after England’s chief health officer, Chris Whitty, explained at a press conference that Covid-19 was not a particularly lethal virus, many wouldn’t get it, and of those who did the vast bulk wouldn’t know they had it, or suffer only a “mild to moderate” illness at worse.

Those facts never changed, but it was too late. By mid-April, our ostensibly civil and rational society had lost its mind, consumed by an insidious culture of consent.

All that mattered was stopping the virus – which most of us ended up getting at least once – and to hell with the human rights, social and economic costs, or earlier pandemic plans.

“Perhaps a hysteria has gripped the nation … the hankering for total lockdown was being cheered on largely by those who would be relatively unaffected by it … the costs will be profound,” I wrote, in what was the first of many criticisms that followed.

But I couldn’t have imagined back then just how damning the data would become, as a new book by Toby Green and Thomas Fazi, The Covid Consensus, now makes clear.

The benefits of our authoritarian response proved so meagre, the costs so enormous – including the inflation we’re still enduring – the last few years must qualify as the biggest public policy disaster outside of wartime.

Australian governments sprayed the best part of half a trillion dollars of public funds against the wall; not to mention the disruption they caused to ordinary lives in the community.

According to OECD data, we ended up with around the same or even a greater number of excess deaths over the last three years as Sweden, a country that was relentlessly attacked for allowing its people to maintain normal lives, with a similar rate of urbanisation and development to Australia.

“I thought Sweden would have higher excess mortality but less economic and social damage, but it had a lower mortality as well,” noted British science writer Matt Ridley last month, after it became clear no matter how the statistics were cut, Sweden emerged with relatively few excess deaths; indeed fewer, or around the same, as Australia.

“Quite astounding: Sweden took a lot of flak for its Covid-19 policies but actually it has done best in Europe,” added Danish environmental analyst Bjorn Lomborg.

On some measures, Sweden did better than any other developed nation on excess deaths. If there is a greater humiliation of experts in modern history, I’m yet to hear it.

The same was true in some parts of the US, which for political and constitutional reasons, managed to resist the zeitgeist, recording the same, or fewer deaths than other jurisdictions, without the destructive madness.

Historians will not look back at the figures of how many died from or with Covid-19. Instead they will look at excess deaths, the number of deaths compared to what might have been expected.

But the coup de grace must belong to China, whose policies in Wuhan inspired many governments to junk their pandemic plans, which had previously emphasised keeping calm and running societies as normally as possible.

In 2020, China’s response was widely praised, based on the CCP’s own dubious Covid-19 figures. But the country’s lockdowns spectacularly failed to contain the virus, and appeared to make little difference when they were ultimately lifted – to the disappointment of those desperate to keep the flame of authoritarianism alive.

Liberal democracies failed miserably during the pandemic, as our institutions, media, academia and bureaucracies careened into hysteria and authoritarianism, trashing human rights and traditional medical ethics over a virus that our grandparents would’ve barely noticed.

You can only imagine what a slightly more lethal virus would have done. As a society we are far less rational and free than we claim.

The gap between our civilisation and China’s has shrunk markedly, too, as government institutions worked hand-in-hand in the US (of all places) with social media companies to suppress dissent and bolster the “the science”, which turned out to be wrong on almost everything. The pandemic response in Australia and elsewhere was a harbinger of a totalitarian future that surely none of us want to encourage.

In my view, those deserving the greatest contempt are the tenured academics and senior public servants who, unless they were mentally deficient, must have known from a very early stage in the pandemic that “the measures” were failing, but continued to cheer them on anyway.

Only an honest evaluation of the gigantic errors of the past can steel us against a repeat of such extremism.

It is fitting, then, to quote the 17th-century Swedish statesman, Axel Oxenstierna, who once commented: “Do you not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed?”

If we didn’t know then, we certainly do now.


17 April, 2023

Bad batches of Pfizer mRNA Vaccines?

A trio of Danish researchers led by high powered physician-investigator Peter Riis Hansen, Department of Cardiology, Copenhagen University Hospital-Herleve and Gentofe recently had a research letter published in peer reviewed journal European Journal of Clinical Investigation. Titled “Batch-dependent safety of the BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine,” the investigators found three groupings of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination batches with low, medium and high rates of adverse events. According to TrialSite contributor Dr. David Wiseman, “Is this modRNA degradation or DNA contamination.” The findings may correspond to Sasha Latypova contributions to TrialSite concerning various levels of vaccine safety associated with batches.


By November 2022, 701 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are linked to 971,021 suspected adverse events (SAEs) in the European Union. The authors point out that “vaccine vials with individual doses are supplied in batches with stringent quality control to ensure batch and dose uniformity.” They noted that at the individual vaccine batch level, clinical data was never reported and that a scenario “highly unlikely” would be “batch-dependent variation in clinical efficacy and safety of authorized vaccines.” Yet the prospect of investigation into “batch dependent variation” was worthy of investigation, according to the authors. Hence the study, an investigation into SAEs between the different Pfizer-BioNTech batches administered across Denmark and its 5.8 million people from December 2020, to January 11, 2022. This inquiry was possible because all SAE cases are linked with corresponding vaccine batch labels reported to and classified by the Danish Medical Agency according to seriousness of SAE as well as numbers of Pfizer-BioNTech doses in individual vaccine batches registered by the Danish Serum Institute. This data is publicly available if requested.

The study

By linking individual SAES to the batch label(s) of Pfizer-BioNTech dose(s) administered by subject, the authors could report on SAEs at the batch level in Denmark.

They divided total number of SAEs associated by batch by the number of doses in the batch to obtain the rate of SAEs per 1000 doses. They could not apply conventional regression statistics due to the significant heterogenous aspect to the observed relationship between number of SAEs and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses. Rather, the authors employed use of non-hierarchical cluster analysis and general linear model (GLM) test for differences in SAE rates between batches, with reporting conforming to the EQUATOR guidelines.

So, what did they find?

52 different BNT162b2 batches was associated with 7,835,280 doses administered to 3,748,215 persons (2340-814,320 doses per batch), and 43,496 SAEs were registered in 13,365 persons which came to 3.19 ± 0.03 (mean ± SEM) SAEs per person. “In each person, individual SAEs were associated with vaccine doses from 1.531 ± 0.004 batches resulting in a total of 66,587 SAEs distributed between the 52 batches.”

The authors had to further analyze 61,847 batch-identifiable SAEs because batch labels were not fully registered or even missing for a total of 7.11% of all Danish SAEs. Out of this analysis 14,509 (23.5%0 were classified as severe SAEs with 579 (0.9%) involving SAE-related deaths.

Vaccine-related SAEs per 1000 doses varies between batches which was an unexpected find for the Danish authors. They reported “2.32 (0.09–3.59) (median [interquartile range]) SAEs per 1000 doses, and significant heterogeneity (p < .0001) was observed in the relationship between numbers of SAEs per 1000 doses and numbers of doses in the individual batches.”

As Wiseman recently noted, the authors found three groupings of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination batches with low, medium and high rates of adverse events. The authors noted:

“Compared to the rates of all SAEs, serious SAEs and SAE-related deaths per 1.000 doses were much less frequent and numbers of these SAEs per 1000 doses displayed considerably greater variability between batches, with lesser separation between the three trendlines.”

They further identified:

“The observed variation in SAE rates and seriousness between BTN162b2 vaccine batches in this nationwide study was contrary to the expected homogenous rate and distribution of SAEs between batches.”


Big Pharma Is Coming for Your Food: All Eyes Should Be on Missouri

Two years ago, moms led a revolution. Many of us refused to accept an untested gene therapy “vaccine” rushed to market during unnecessary and prolonged Covid lockdowns. The years since have vindicated moms: Our concerns about adverse reactions and potentially life-altering complications are, unfortunately, proving to be true. Courageous patriots fought unethical vaccine mandates and drew attention to the lack of informed consent as pharmaceutical corporations experimented on the population at large.

What you might not have seen coming is that Big Pharma has a back door to mass distributing the vaccine: the food supply. Moms for America learned from industry sources that this month farmers and ranchers will begin using mRNA vaccines on cattle and pigs. From the mainstream media? Crickets.

Not everyone is accepting this unprecedented power grab. Brave legislators in Missouri are facing off against the agricultural lobbyists and big corporations. Missouri House Bill 1169 is a simple measure to require disclosure of gene therapy products in everything from food to cosmetics, including soap. This two-page bill would not ban anything. It simply requires that products we purchase to consume or apply to our bodies are appropriately labeled if they contain materials that can alter our genetic material.

The disclosure bill defines a “gene therapy” as “any product with any capacity to alter, interfere with, or otherwise act in any manner similar or equivalent to genes.” If these substances were not going into our food supply, why are the lobbyists pitching a fit? The level of outrage among agricultural associations and professional lobbyist groups suggests that this is a very big deal.


Civil Society Group in Canada Intensifies Its Investigation Into COVID-19: Was Pandemic Convenient Excuse for Government Overreach?

Canada’s Nationwide Citizens Inquiry (NCI) continues a private, civic society investigation into the COVID-19 response organize and led by that country’s national government. Afterall, this is the country that initially had no real strategy for COVID-19 vaccination, depending on a deal with China’s CanSino Biologics, which ultimately failed miserably. Canada, traditionally a solid long-time partner of the United States surprisingly did not participate in Operation Warp Speed initiated by former President Donald Trump.

This week the group will continue to conduct hearings this time in Winnipeg this Thursday, April 13, 2023. A group of prominent expert witnesses will offer their point of view, analysis and testimony. The country’s majority political class used the pandemic has a means to tighten their grip on power.

For example, during the well-publicized trucker protests, persons who contributed financially to those grassroots, political protests in some cases had their bank accounts frozen. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau enacted the Canadian Emergencies Act, arguing it wasn’t overreach given the mounting crisis across the country. On the other hand, an alternative point of view suggests Trudeau’s actions caused a breakdown in government, and Civil Liberties groups have claimed the use of the Emergencies Act was an abuse of government power.

NCI is a Canada-wide citizen-led and citizen-funded initiative to investigate governments’ COVID-19 policies in a fair and impartial manner that is completely independent from government. Through questioning led by lawyers, individual Canadians and experts will present evidence under oath to Independent Commissioners. The first six days of hearings were held in Truro, NS and Toronto, ON.

These expert witnesses include:

Natalie Bjorklund Gordon – Geneticist and Epidemiologist
Stephen Theriault – Medical microbiologist
Jessica Rose – Expert on the VAERS data
Staff Sgt Rick Abott – Edmonton Police Officer
Jay Bhattacharya – Professor of Medicine at Stanford, co-author The Great Barrington Declaration
Jeffrey Tucker – Founder of the Brownstone Institute
Deanne McLeod – Medical Researcher
Charley Hooper – Researcher on Early Covid Treatment

The Winnipeg hearings, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Central, will be broadcast live on the NCI website and on the NCI Rumble Channel. Follow the NCI on social media: and

The Winnipeg venue is Holiday Inn Winnipeg – Airport West, 2520 Portage Ave., Winnipeg, MB R3J 3T6 Ph. (204) 885-4478

The conference organizations report that due to limited space in the room, the public is asked to arrange for access through Eventbrite.

Members of the media are asked to provide identification to NCI volunteers on site to obtain access. Prior notification of attendance to will assist in assuring seating.

NCI spokesperson, Michelle Leduc Catlin, will be at the hearings and is a contact for assistance.

Other hearings are planned in other locations across this vast country to the north of the U.S.


16 April, 2023

The corrupted science behind Biden’s COVID vax mandates

President Joe Biden decreed on Sept. 9, 2021, that more than 100 million Americans must get COVID-vaccine injections.

But newly disclosed emails show that the Food and Drug Administration finding behind that order, official certification of the jabs as “safe and effective,” was the result of a bureaucratic bait-and-switch.

The FDA had approved COVID vaccines on an emergency-use basis in December 2020, before Biden even took office.

The White House assumed that was the silver bullet to enable Biden to save Americans from COVID.

But it soon became clear that many Americans were hesitating to get jabbed, in part because the FDA approval was solely for emergency use.

Many Americans have long been wary of vaccines, including health-care workers who avoid flu shots.

The president championed vaccines with evangelical fervor.

“You’re not going to get COVID if you have these vaccinations,” he insisted in a July 21, 2021, CNN town hall.

Biden’s claim was false, spurred by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention decision to ignore any “breakthrough” COVID infections that did not result in death or hospitalization.

As for the emergency-only approval, Biden assured the audience that “the group of scientists we put together” will “get a final approval” very soon.

In fact, when Pfizer applied for full approval in May 2021, the FDA said it aimed to announce a decision in January 2022.

But that wasn’t fast enough for the Biden White House.

Newly released emails reveal that Acting Commissioner Janet Woodcock was concerned because “states cannot require mandatory vaccination” without FDA final approval, according to the chief of FDA’s vaccine-review office, Marion Gruber.

Gruber warned that a thorough evaluation was needed due to “increasing evidence of association of this vaccine and development of myocarditis (especially in young males).”

After Gruber balked, Woodcock placed a loyal subordinate in charge of the process, and the vaccine got full approval Aug. 23.

Biden boasted that day of achieving a COVID “key milestone” and labeled FDA approval the “gold standard,” proving vaccines were safe and effective.

The White House arm-twisting spurred a “mutiny” at the FDA, as Politico put it: Gruber and her top deputy resigned in protest.

When Biden gave his vaccine-mandate speech Sept. 9, he promised to “finish the job [on COVID] with truth, with science.”

But the White House had already buried the truth and effectively exiled dissenting scientists.

Indeed, another key Biden claim had already fallen apart: that vaccines stop transmission.

Late July 2021 brought news that almost 500 vaccinated people contracted COVID on holiday visits to Provincetown, Mass.

On July 30, The Washington Post and New York Times published leaked Centers for Disease Control and Prevention documents warning that vaccines were utterly failing to stop transmission.

The Times tweeted, “The Delta variant is as contagious as chickenpox and may be spread by vaccinated people as easily as the unvaccinated.”

Biden White House COVID spokesman Ben Wakana hysterically denounced The WaPo as “completely irresponsible” and flogged the Times with an all-caps outburst: “YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG.”

But on Aug. 5, CDC chief Rochelle Walensky admitted that vaccines failed to “prevent transmission” of COVID.

The following week, a Mayo Clinic study indicated that the Pfizer vaccine had become only 42% effective — below the standard the FDA normally required for vaccine approval.

None of that mattered to an administration that had decided vaccines were everything: Biden announced his private-employee mandate Sept. 9.

And the FDA final approval prompted many schools, colleges and other organizations to impose their own mandates. (This, when it was already clear that young people faced minimal risk from COVID.)

Yet the vaccines were already proving less effective against the new COVID variants that experts had long predicted would occur.

By January 2022, the nation was seeing a million new COVID cases a day, and still-frightening numbers of deaths among both the vaccinated and unvaccinated — while the Supreme Court struck down Biden’s vaccine mandate for 84 million private employees on the 13th.

The COVID vaccine’s rushed approval was the pharmaceutical version of a riverboat gamble.

Yet the administration is still pushing new jabs, including boosters — ignoring risks such as the threat of myocarditis among vaccinated younger males (a four- to 28-fold elevated risk).

The CDC is investigating a possible link between Pfizer vaccines and strokes in the elderly.

COVID vaccines can still provide protection for the elderly and people with severe health problems. But since early 2022, most COVID fatalities have occurred among the fully vaccinated.

More medical research is necessary to reveal the benefits and risks of the vaccines.

Meanwhile, the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic is demanding a bevy of documents from the FDA on its rushed vaccine approval, while Biden policymakers continue to treat transparency as a plague to avoid at all costs.

If and when federal files are finally opened, how many other COVID policy scandals will be revealed?


Another Doctor in Canada Investigated for Prescribing Ivermectin for COVID-19

Canadian physicians continue to get harassed and even formally disciplined for using repurposed medications to treat COVID-19, yet ones not accepted by national regulators for that particular indication. Most recently, Dr. Tshipita Kabongo at the Integrated Wellness and Health Balance Centre, part of the Saskatchewan Health Authority in Regina, Canada, found out about the professional perils of prescribing ivermectin. Because the doctor allegedly was prescribing ivermectin between April 2020 and March 2022, to prevent and or treat COVID-19, the physician faces allegations of professional misconduct.

Thus far, the allegations haven’t been admitted but now are under review by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan (the College) discipline committee. This isn’t these physicians first run in with “the College”: in 2016 he was sanctioned

The recent allegations

“(Kabongo) failed to know and/or adhere to the College Policy on Complementary and Alternative Therapies.” Further, the allegations continue that the physician wrote one or more ivermectin prescriptions not “medically indicated” while precluding other “evidence-informed” regimens. Finally, medical records were not adequately documented.

While it’s acknowledged and understood by “the College” that patients maintain a right to make decisions about their own healthcare, they also inform about the doctor’s responsibilities in such scenarios, particularly during the pandemic.

Recently, the College pointed to their policies in association with the charges against the ivermectin prescriber: “It is unethical to engage in or to aid and abet in treatment which has no acceptable scientific basis, may be dangerous, may deceive the patient by giving false hope, or which may cause the patient to delay in seeking conventional care until his or her condition becomes irreversible.”

“No scientific basis”

Government and corporate health systems combined with academic medical centers uniformly take the stance that while lab studies showed the ability of ivermectin to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 entry into the body, Canadian media actually lies, declaring, “No clinical trials have reported benefits with ivermectin for COVID patients.”

While it’s true that a handful of major studies haven’t turned up conclusive evidence in the drug’s favor, some of these study designs have been challenged in that the doses were too low, the regimen was administered to late in the infection life cycle and other factors such as weight were not methodically dealt with.

But what they don’t mention is the 95 studies involving ivermectin and COVID-19 involving 1,023 scientists around the world and 134,554 patients across 27 countries. Significant data from some of these studies reveals real promise, but they are completely discounted by aforementioned entities that essentially serve as gatekeepers for medicine.

Several countries temporarily authorized the use of ivermectin on an emergency basis during the height of the pandemic, from India and Peru to Slovakia and even municipalities in southern Brazil. The Mexico City health agency conducted a large public health real time ivermectin study showing good results. Uttar Pradesh’s massive public health initiative using a combination of ivermectin and doxycycline, wildly successful, was blacked out by the press.

Although the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a press release touting that Indian state’s health agency’s success with the COVID-19 response, they omitted the components of the home medicine kit, which again included ivermectin and doxycycline. Western media has outright lied about this piece of history, calling it misinformation. The entire chapter of history during the pandemic involving ivermectin’s use in mostly low-and middle-income countries is avoided by mainstream medicine altogether.

Importantly, representatives from three separate nations were in touch with TrialSite at various stages of the pandemic asking this media to take down articles highlighting the particular nation’s authorization of ivermectin for emergency use. Why? We learned that they were afraid of WHO reprisal.

A website tracks all ivermectin studies but unfortunately, the purveyors of the study tracker choose to remain anonymous which doesn’t really contribute to credibility. Undoubtedly, fear of reprisal and loss of academic or industry jobs is likely the reason. But on the other hand, TrialSite has taken on industry or academia, when necessary, when pursuing the truth in biomedical research—and has paid the price with censorship on YouTube and social media, but during these times, has taken a stand on matters.

TrialSite also has found that as COVID-19 mutates and as new crises emerge such as long COVID and post-COVID-19 vaccine injuries, some prominent doctors that at one point or another during the pandemic prescribed ivermectin now argue that the drug provides minimal to even no value for treating conditions such as long COVID, vaccine injuries and the like.

As it continues to be a controversial topic, some doctors and supporters have embraced the drug with religious fervor with the medical establishment doing all it could to ignore or avoid any positive signals. Frankly, this is not a scientific based approach from either side.


14 April, 2023

Lies, damn lies and statistcs

After the release of his emails under Freedom of Information (FOI) requests, Dr Anthony Fauci and his friends must vie for first place as the greatest conspirators of the Covid era. He is equally in the running to be the greatest source of disinformation on just about every aspect of the pandemic, ably assisted by ‘experts’ and public health authorities around the world.

Fauci could be relied on to misinform on any topic from the origin of the virus and the necessity of lockdowns to the demonisation of the unvaccinated and the safety and efficacy of the novel genetically-induced vaccines.

Fauci’s performance was a tour de force that involved overturning decades, even millennia of knowledge about infection. . It required the wholesale abandonment of the scientific method as the empirical means of acquiring knowledge because it relies on careful observation, truthful interpretation, rigorous skepticism and robust debate. It is not possible to engage in science without freedom of thought and speech but free speech was deemed so dangerous that doctors, scientists, academics and anyone who questioned the world according to Fauci was cancelled.

Why didn’t the mainstream media question any of this? Why, as Adam Creighton asks in an excellent article in the Australian this week, was the media so credulous and incurious, so ‘naive to the financial and political forces that pushed governments to eschew the more sensible path of voluntary Covid-19 vaccination’?

It is not necessary to speculate to answer that question. When Elon Musk bought Twitter in October last year he opened up the company’s internal communications to journalists including Bari Weiss, the former opinion editor for the New York Times who resigned after being bullied by woke colleague; Matt Taibbi, a former contributing editor to Rolling Stone and staunch critic of mainstream media; and Dr Michael Shellenberger, a former Democratic candidate for governor of California, environmental activist and strong supporter of nuclear energy. All three would have been seen as sympathetic to the Left at some point but each has been cancelled for their commitment to truth-telling. They are now up to their 19th Twitter file exposé.

Shellenberger explains in an interview with Joe Rogan this week that what they expected to find inside Twitter were ultra-progressive leftists who were biased in their content moderation. What they uncovered were documents and communications exposing a ‘censorship-industrial complex’, a huge operation run by current and former US government officials and contractors from a host of agencies including the FBI, the CIA and the Department of Homeland Security. This complex worked with a network of university think tanks and NGOs called the ‘Election Integrity Partnership’ to outsource the censorship of Americans in the lead up to the 2020 election. They did this to avoid violating the First Amendment which protects freedom of speech from government censorship.

None of this is surprising except the audacity of the whole endeavour. It was clear after the British people voted for Brexit and Americans elected Trump that the Democrats were going to do everything in their power to prevent his re-election. They blamed the Big Tech titans for his election to pressure them in to cooperating. They used ‘the complex’ to cook up the Steele dossier which they fed to mainstream media to propagate the Trump-Russia collusion fabrication. The security agencies framed Hunter Biden’s laptop as Russian disinformation so that social media would censor it in the lead-up to the 2020 election. From that point there was no great leap to branding the Covid lab leak as a conspiracy theory. They censored anyone who contradicted the official narrative.

Even parents grieving the death of their children killed by the vaccine.

In Australia, the Bureau of Statistics has revealed the death toll for 2022. An extra 25,235 Australians died unexpectedly – 10,000 from Covid and 15,000 from what? It was the biggest increase in mortality numerically since the Spanish flu of 1919 but more than half of the deaths weren’t caused by the pandemic virus. Did the vaccine play a role? The media didn’t ask. As Stalin would have said, it’s just a statistic. ?


Inflation dips to 5 percent as demand begins collapsing, Fed set to keep increasing

By Robert Romano

The consumer price index has continued to descend from its June 2022 peak of 9.1 percent down to a still elevated 5 percent in March 2023, according to the latest reading from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The decrease was almost exclusively due energy prices continuing to stabilize, with oil prices being down in March, with gasoline down 4.6 percent and fuel oil down 4 percent in just a month.

Electricity was down 0.7 percent and piped gas service was down another 7.1 percent in March, following an 8 percent drop in February.

But that was before OPEC+ slashed production in early April, which has seen light sweet crude oil rise from about $67 a barrel in late March to now about $83 a barrel in April, a 24 percent increase that will surely find its way to gas prices over the next several weeks.

The production cut was predicated on anticipated weaker demand, and so over the longer term prices could wind up dropping anyway.

However, the sudden rise in oil prices could serve notice on the Federal Reserve that inflation pressures due to supply issues are still very much an issue, as much as the $6 trillion that was printed, borrowed and spent for Covid is, which came at a time of production halts, economic lockdowns and paying people to stay home.

The M2 money supply increased dramatically from $15.3 trillion in Feb. 2020 to a peak of $22 trillion by April 2022, a massive 43.7 percent, leading to the inflation spike, where consumer inflation reached 9.1 percent in June 2022. By the time Russia invaded Ukraine in Feb. 2022—further worsening global supply issues—consumer inflation was already north of 7.5 percent. The M2 money supply has now decreased a bit to $21.1 trillion.

On March 22, the Federal Reserve noted that continued increases of the Federal Funds Rate, or “additional policy firming,” could be on the horizon, stating, “the Committee decided to raise the target range for the federal funds rate to 4-3/4 to 5 percent. The Committee will closely monitor incoming information and assess the implications for monetary policy. The Committee anticipates that some additional policy firming may be appropriate in order to attain a stance of monetary policy that is sufficiently restrictive to return inflation to 2 percent over time.”

The central bank added, “In determining the extent of future increases in the target range, the Committee will take into account the cumulative tightening of monetary policy, the lags with which monetary policy affects economic activity and inflation, and economic and financial developments.”

In just a year, the Fed has gone from 0.08 percent in Feb. 2022 on the effective Federal Funds Rate — at which point inflation was already 7.5 percent — to now 4.65 percent in March, leading to much hand-wringing on Wall Street about interest rates rising faster than ever.

To be certain, it is one of the quicker paces of increases of the Federal Funds Rate in recent memory, looking a bit further back in history, it looks a lot like the rate increases that combated the inflation of the 1970s and 1980s.

For example, in 1981, when the effective Federal Funds Rate rose from 14.7 percent in March 1981 to 19.1 percent in June 1981, a 4.4 percent increase.

That was dwarfed by 1980, when rose from about 9 percent in July 1980 to 19.1 percent in Jan. 1981, a 10.1 percent increase.

Or in 1979, when it rose from about 10.1 percent in April 1979 to about 17.6 percent in April 1980, a 7.5 percent increase.

Or 1973, hen it rose from Sept. 1972 to Sept. 1973, from about 4.9 percent to 10.8 percent, a 5.9 percent increase.

Those were rocky times, too, but what the Fed is doing is by no means unprecedented. What was unprecedented was printing $6 trillion and simultaneously shutting the economy down and reducing production—too much money chasing too few goods.

The Fed’s rate hikes come as 10-year treasuries remain at about 3.37 percent of this writing, and 30-year mortgage interest rates are at about 6.3 percent as existing home sales remain down about 22.6 percent from their 2022 highs a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors.

The news comes as the annual growth of consumer credit appears to have peaked at 8.1 percent in Oct. 2022, flattening slightly to 7.8 percent annualized by Dec. 2022 and then ticked up to 7.9 percent Jan. 2023 and now is down to 7.6 percent in Feb. 2023, which could be a sign of weakening demand. Usually, it peaks just before or at the beginning recessions, and then will slow down significantly once unemployment begins rising.

Either way, a slowdown in the growth of consumer credit could indicate American households are maxing out on their credit cards, which will have a dampening effect on demand going forward.

And yet, unemployment remains at historic lows of 3.5 percent, and with the Fed projecting a 4.6 percent unemployment rate in 2024, as many as 2 million job losses still appear to remain on the horizon, meaning there’s still room for the Fed move rates higher. To be certain at 5 percent inflation, it would only take another quarter point hike or so to get the Fed’s interest rate above that of the consumer inflation rate. Stay tuned.


13 April, 2023

You Can't Say That!

John Stossel

Over the past three years, we reporters learned there were certain things that we weren't allowed to say. Not long ago, in fact, my new video may have been censored.

One dangerous idea, we were told, was that COVID might have been created in a lab at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. That seems very possible, since the institute studied coronaviruses in bats, and America's National Institutes of Health gave the lab money to perform "gain-of-function" research, experiments where scientists try to make a virus more virulent or transmissible.

A Washington Post writer worried the lab leak theory "could increase racist attacks against Chinese people and further fuel anti-Asian hate."

The establishment media fell in line, insisting that COVID most likely came from a local market that sold animals.

Left-wing TV mocked the lab theory as a "fringe idea" that came from "a certain corner of the right."

"This coronavirus was not manmade," said MSNBC's Chris Hayes, confidently, "That is not a possibility."

Not even a possibility?

Debate about it, we were told, posed a new threat: misinformation.

Facebook banned the lab leak theory, calling it a "false claim."

But now the U.S. Department of Energy says the pandemic most likely came from a lab leak. FBI director Christopher Wray now says the origin of the pandemic is "most likely a potential lab incident in Wuhan."

For two years, the most likely explanation was censored.

Do the media gatekeepers apologize for their censorship? No.

The closest to an admission of guilt I found was from Chris Hayes, who eventually said, "There's a kernel of truth to the idea that some folks were too quick to shut down the lab leak theory."

There was more than "a kernel of truth." Again and again, politically correct media silenced people who spoke the truth.

Facebook throttled the reach of science journalist John Tierney's articles simply because he reported, accurately, that requiring masks can hurt kids.

YouTube suspended Sen. Rand Paul for saying, "Most of the masks you get over the counter don't work."

But what they said is true. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance to say cloth masks are not very effective. And now a big study failed to find evidence that wearing even good masks stops the spread of viruses.

Probably the most blatant censorship was Twitter's shutting down the New York Post's reporting about Hunter Biden's laptop.

Twitter wouldn't let users decide for themselves. The company just called the Post's report "potentially harmful" and blocked users from sharing it.

Facebook, as usual, was sneakier, suppressing the story instead of banning it outright. That's what they do to my climate change reporting.

Today, the media admit the Post story is true. But they don't admit they were wrong. Now they just say things like, "Nobody cares about Hunter Biden's laptop."

Bad as the media are, what's worse is that government wanted to censor.

Sen. Mark Warner complained, "We've done nothing in terms of content regulation!"

Fortunately, his colleagues were not as irresponsible as he; no censorship legislation passed. But government did apply lots of pressure.

The White House asked Facebook to kill what they called "disinformation," even urging them to censor private WhatsApp messages.

Now that Elon Musk owns Twitter and opened up the company's internal files, we know that censorhip requests came from "every corner" of government, as journalist Matt Taibbi put it.

Even individual politicians tried to censor.

Maine Sen. Angus King's staff complained about Twitter accounts that they considered "anti-King." Rep. Adam Schiff's office asked Twitter to suppress search results.

Fortunately, Twitter refused.

But the sad truth is that lots of government agencies and media tyrants want to limit what you read and hear.

At least now, we can speak the truth:

COVID probably was created in a Chinese lab.

Masks are unlikely to provide much protection and requiring them can harm kids. Hunter Biden did lots of sleazy things.

Self-appointed censors tried to shut us up, but eventually, the truth almost always comes out.


Intriguing results of new national poll about COVID and vaccine deaths

This is an opinion survey so is no way equivalent to autopsies etc but it is surely of some weight

Looks like there been massive under-counting of COVID and vaccine deaths.

A new poll by Rasmussen has some data that validates what many of us already believe, namely that the vaccines are dangerous, unsafe and need to be pulled from the market immediately.

The survey of 1,078 American adults was conducted on March 27-29, 2023 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

A big finding is that nearly as many Americans believe someone close to them died from side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine as died from the disease/infection itself.

This latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 11% of American adults say a member of their household died from COVID-19, while 86% answer no. That percentage equates to roughly 25 million adults. Both the 11% and 25 million figures are incredibly high. They also equate to a very high number of households, many millions. Are all these figures consistent with what CDC says is the total number of COVID deaths of just over 1 million? NO! The survey result indicates a massive under-counting of COVID deaths by the government. And that many more millions of Americans died from COVID! How can this be explained? One possible answer is that many deaths occurred at homes rather than hospitals. Another is that ordinary people viewed some deaths in their household were incorrectly attributed to various ordinary health problems (such as cardiac deaths) were actually caused by COVID infection.

Ten percent (10%) say a member of their household has died whose death they think may have been caused by side effects of COVID-19 vaccines, while 85% say there were no such deaths in their household. This figure is shockingly inconsistent with the approved narrative, actually propaganda, of “safe and effective” which has been so actively spread by corporate (“main stream”) media and the US Government and the entire public health and health care establishments. Here too this survey result indicates a massive under-counting of vaccine deaths if some 25 million Americans have this view. Various studies indicate a total of some 500,000 vaccine deaths.

These findings come at a time when overall concern about COVID-19 is clearly on the decline. Forty-eight percent (48)% of Americans are less concerned about COVID-19 than they were a year ago, compared to 20% who say they’re more concerned. Thirty-one percent (31%) say their concern about COVID-19 has not changed much in the past year.

More Democrats (16%) than Republicans (12%) or those not affiliated with either major party (6%) say a member of their household died from COVID-19. More Republicans (15%) than Democrats (13%) or the unaffiliated (5%) say a member of their household has died whose death they think may have been caused by side effects of COVID-19 vaccines.

The section above is key, because the difference between Democrats and Republicans is almost the same concerning either deaths from COVID or COVID vaccines. If there had been statistical significance between these two groups, Rasmussen would have indicated that.

Please keep in mind that it is now widely accepted by those who follow the data that the COVID vaccines available in the United States do not prevent infection, replication, or spread of SARS-CoV-2, and do not prevent either hospitalized disease or death from COVID-19 disease. Given these facts, references to these biologic medical products as “vaccines” is merely propaganda. They clearly do not “vaccinate” in the classic sense. But they make billions of dollars for vaccine makers.

Other details about the poll:

Fifty-five percent (55%) of Republicans, 43% of Democrats and 45% of the unaffiliated are less concerned about COVID-19 than they were a year ago. Thirty-one percent (31%) of Democrats, 17% of Republicans and 13% of the unaffiliated are more concerned about COVID-19 than they were a year ago.

The only significant male-female divide on these questions is that more men (24%) than women (17%) say they’re more concerned about COVID-19 than they were a year ago. This is particularly true for men under 40.

Adults under 40 are significantly more likely than their elders to say they’re more concerned about COVID-19 than they were a year ago. A solid majority of Americans over 40 have become less concerned about COVID-19 in the past year, but just 35% of those under 40 feel the same. Women under 40 are most likely to answer yes when asked whether a household member has died either due to COVID-19 or to side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Fifty percent (50%) of whites, 39% of blacks and 46% of other minorities are less concerned about COVID-19 than they were a year ago. Nineteen percent (19%) of whites, 24% of blacks and 22% of other minorities are more concerned about COVID-19 than they were a year ago. Whites and blacks are less likely than other minorities to say a household member has died either due to COVID-19 or to side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Married adults and those with children at home are more likely than their single or childless peers to say a household member has died either due to COVID-19 or to side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Americans with annual incomes over $100,000 are more likely to say they’re more concerned about COVID-19 than they were a year ago, compared to those with lower incomes. Higher income Americans are also more likely to say a member of their household died from COVID-19.

Remarkably, among those who say a member of their household died from COVID-19, 54% also say a member of their household has died whose death they think may have been caused by side effects of COVID-19 vaccines.


12 April, 2023

Chinese Scientists Systematically Evaluate State of mRNA Vaccines—Expect a ‘Revolution’

Chinese researchers led by Xia Guo and Xinghong Gao at Zunyi Medical University in Guizhou province in the mountainous southwest of the People’s Republic of China and colleagues recently conducted a survey of the rapidly developed mRNA vaccine technology during the COVID-19 pandemic. Reporting that the breakthroughs have opened up new doors of mRNA research targeting other viral vaccines, particularly for non-replication structure mRNA vaccines of viral disease.

The current review centers on the existing mRNA vaccines, “which are of great value for candidates for clinical applications in viral diseases.” How are the current early generation of mRNA vaccines and their vaccine development process getting optimized? Why are mRNA immunomodulators important in the treatment of viral diseases? How can vaccine developers ensure in the future that mRNA vaccines employed for use in clinical medicine are

A) more stable

B) offer higher translation efficiency,

C) lead to superior immune efficacy and safety,

D) involve even more compressed production time as well as E) lower production costs than traditional vaccines? What about serious adverse events? What breakthroughs can improve the track record? What’s the outlook for use of mRNA vaccines as part of “preventive or therapeutic” strategies to control diseases in the future?

Considered “third generation” vaccines, the reason for the big push of this technology includes A) ability for rapid response to pathogen mutation, B) simple production process and C) easy scalability, according to the Chinese study authors. Although this media has questions on some of these assumptions such as ease of production process.

Now widely used around the world (perhaps a key goal underlying the massive response to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic) the authors in this entry in Virology Journal first breakdown mRNA vaccines—what they are, their mechanism of action, etc.

With the “theoretical capacity to produce any protein,” the confluence of positive forces leads to promising future, even 'revolutionary' vaccines, the authors. But challenges persist.

For example, a major “stumbling block” for the industry involves the lack of stability associated with single-stranded mRNA—as soon as it enters the organism it is “identified and degraded by pattern recognition receptor (PRR), leading to “huge” development challenges associated with mRNA.

Safety Issues Remain a Challenge

Also, the authors acknowledge the safety issues mounting with the novel vaccines on the market. They declare “…some adverse events of mRNA vaccines, such as hepatitis, allergic reactions caused by polyethylene glycol (PEG), and viral reactivation, still require researchers to continuously improve vaccine production technologies or delivery systems continuously.”

So what techniques are being used to ensure superior, more stable outcomes?

It turns out “several techniques” have emerged leading to more stable mRNAs as the biotechnology both “develops and matures.” Some of these advances the authors discuss:

Synthetic structure-modified RNAs are used to replace natural RNAs to synthesize mRNAs that can evade recognition by the body's immune system as "non-self" components and be eliminated such as pseudouridine (?). Moderna has incorporated this strategy for mRNA-1273.

5' cap structures, 3' poly(A) tails, and UTR sequences can also stabilize mRNA and thus increase translation efficiency, such as optimization in these regions used in Pfizer-BioNTech’s BNT162b2.

The authors argue that advanced new formulation methods such as lipid nanoparticles can help protect mRNA and trigger immune response—an example is the LMP used in Moderna’s mRNA-1388.

So based on a systematic review of existing mRNA vaccines with prospective potential in the clinic targeting viral diseases, the authors attempt to develop and impart a “theoretical reference” for mRNA vaccine research targeting viral diseas


COVID-19 Spike Protein Accumulates in the Skull-Meninges-Brain Axis: Is the Vaccine’s Induced Spike Protein a Risk as Well?

A large team of researchers mostly from German academic medical centers including Institute for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (iTERM), Helmholtz Center Munich and Institute for Stroke and Dementia Research, Klinikum der Universität München, Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich but also Denmark investigated neurological issues associated with SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind COVID-19.

From brain fog to brain tissue loss, the pandemic raised concern about COVID-19’s acute and potential chronic impact on the central nervous system. Designing the study to make use of mouse models and human post-mortem tissue-based studies, the Europe-based team investigated the presence and distribution of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in what’s known as the “skull-meninges-brain axis.”

What did they find? It turns out the spike protein does accumulate in the skull marrow, brain meninges and brain parenchyma. When injecting the spike protein in this series of lab experiments researchers report that “the spike protein alone caused cell death in the brain” which suggests a “direct effect on brain tissue.” But even in the deceased when conducting post-mortem analyses the study authors report the “presence of spike protein in the skull of deceased long after their COVID infection. Could the spike protein contribute to long-term neurological symptoms?

More Details

In this fascinating yet not yet peer reviewed output, the study team represented by corresponding author Ali Ertürk reports:

“The spike protein was associated with neutrophil-related pathways and dysregulation of the proteins involved in the PI3K-AKT as well as complement and coagulation pathway.”

Could it be that the spike protein associated with COVID-19 shuttles from the central nervous system borders into the brain parenchyma, and that identified differently regulated pathways suggests neurological insights into underlying mechanisms of the pathogen. Also, the unfortunate prospect of lawn-term consequences of SARS-CoV-2 and present diagnostic and therapeutic opportunities.

And what about vaccination? Given the mRNA vaccines instruct the body to produce the spike protein could some of the neurological problems reported, albeit rare, can add up given over 270 million people received their primary series in the United States.

In fact the research team pointed out that “The lack of evidence for the viral presence and especially viral replication in the brain led to the hypothesis that virus shed proteins circulating in the bloodstream may promote an inflammatory response independent of direct viral infection of the affected organs, including the brain. Notably, the highly immunogenic spike protein, also used in COVID-19 vaccines, might be a candidate for triggering infection-independent effects.


Senator Rand Paul Proposes Legislation to Reform “Fauci’s NIH”

Republican Rand Paul of Kentucky has had a continuing feud with not only Dr. Anthony Fauci but the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as well, seeking transparency and answers to questions about gain-of-function and SARS-CoV-2 origins. Paul has repeatedly accused Fauci and the NIH of funding gain of function research at the Wuhan Lab through the non-profit EcoHealth Alliance. Wuhan keeps surfacing as a possible source of the Covid pandemic. EcoHealth Alliance received taxpayer money from the NIH, actually serving as an intermediary to Wuhan Virology Institute. Paul has also questioned Fauci, the former director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) regarding royalties paid to Fauci and a possible conflict of interest.

Paul wanted to know why the NIH redacts all the data associated with royalty payments, including employee name, amount, and associated company. Fauci claimed according to regulations, these details don’t have to be revealed. But Paul focused more on gain of function and is now taking steps to curtail both gain of function and what the Kentucky senator labeled Anthony Fauci’s “abuse of office”.

NIH Reform Act

In an op-ed for Fox News, Paul lays out his plan to reform what he calls “Fauci’s NIH”. According to Paul, Fauci “headed the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) for over 38 years, and by the time he retired he was drawing the largest salary in the entire federal government.” Paul writes, “Though the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic are still unknown, some scientists believe it may have begun in a lab. If so, the virus may have developed from a research method like the ones Dr. Fauci was bankrolling.

The American people deserve better. That’s why I recently introduced the NIH Reform Act to divide the NIAID into three parts that align with its stated mission ‘to better understand, treat, and ultimately prevent infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases.' The three new agencies would be the National Institute of Allergic Diseases, the National Institute of Infectious Diseases and the National Institute of Immunologic Diseases.

Paul compares Fauci’s time in office and his power to that of J. Edgar Hoover, the founder and former head of the FBI. Paul points out how Hoover had amassed a lot of power and much of what the FBI director did was unconstitutional and “few were brave enough to speak out against them.”

Working with Rep. Chip Roy

Paul has introduced the NIH Reform Act with Representative Chip Roy, Republican of Texas. In order to limit the power of the new heads of the agencies the director of each institute would be appointed by the president, confirmed by the Senate and not permitted to serve more than two terms of five years. As Paul points out in his press release, “This type of reorganization is nothing new.

For example, in the aftermath of J. Edgar Hoover’s decades-long tenure as head of the FBI, Congress passed a law in 1976 limiting the FBI Director to a single 10-year term, and as recently as 2012, Congress eliminated one center within the NIH and replaced it with a new one.

In the aftermath of the damage done by pandemic-era mandates and restrictions, Congress must enact the NIH Reform Act to ensure that one official cannot claim the unquestioned authority to dictate the governmental responses to public health questions.” Given Rand Paul’s history with Anthony Fauci it will be interesting to see how a split Congress will react to Paul’s NIH Reform Act.


11 April, 2023

Association of Treatment With Nirmatrelvir and the Risk of Post–COVID-19 Condition

Nirmatrelvir is one component of Pfizer's Paxlovid antiviral. The differences observed below were weak but pervasive, suggesting some usefulness in preventing long Covid

Yan Xie et al

Key Points

Question Is treatment with nirmatrelvir in the acute phase of SARS-CoV-2 infection associated with a lower risk of post–COVID-19 condition (PCC)?

Findings In this cohort study of 281 793 people with SARS-CoV-2 infection who had at least 1 risk factor for progression to severe COVID-19 illness, compared with 246 076 who had no treatment, nirmatrelvir use in the acute phase (n = 35 717) was associated with reduced risk of PCC, including reduced risk of 10 of 13 post–acute sequelae in various organ systems, as well as reduced risk of post–acute death and post–acute hospitalization. Nirmatrelvir was associated with reduced risk of PCC in people who were unvaccinated, vaccinated, and boosted, and in people with primary SARS-CoV-2 infection and reinfection.

Meaning In people with SARS-CoV-2 infection and at least 1 risk factor for progression to severe COVID-19 illness, treatment with nirmatrelvir during the acute phase of COVID-19 was associated with reduced risk of PCC.


Importance Post–COVID-19 condition (PCC), also known as long COVID, affects many individuals. Prevention of PCC is an urgent public health priority.

Objective To examine whether treatment with nirmatrelvir in the acute phase of COVID-19 is associated with reduced risk of PCC.

Design, Setting, and Participants This cohort study used the health care databases of the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to identify patients who had a SARS-CoV-2 positive test result between January 3, 2022, and December 31, 2022, who were not hospitalized on the day of the positive test result, who had at least 1 risk factor for progression to severe COVID-19 illness, and who had survived the first 30 days after SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis. Those who were treated with oral nirmatrelvir within 5 days after the positive test (n = 35 717) and those who received no COVID-19 antiviral or antibody treatment during the acute phase of SARS-CoV-2 infection (control group, n = 246 076) were identified.

Exposures Treatment with nirmatrelvir or receipt of no COVID-19 antiviral or antibody treatment based on prescription records.

Main Outcomes and Measures Inverse probability weighted survival models were used to estimate the association of nirmatrelvir (vs control) with post–acute death, post–acute hospitalization, and a prespecified panel of 13 post–acute COVID-19 sequelae (components of PCC) and reported in relative scale as relative risk (RR) or hazard ratio (HR) and in absolute scale as absolute risk reduction in percentage at 180 days (ARR).

Results A total of 281 793 patients (mean [SD] age, 61.99 [14.96]; 242 383 [86.01%] male) who had a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result and had at least 1 risk factor for progression to severe COVID-19 illness were studied. Among them, 246 076 received no COVID-19 antiviral or antibody treatment during the acute phase of SARS-CoV-2 infection, and 35 717 received oral nirmatrelvir within 5 days after the positive SARS-CoV-2 test result. Compared with the control group, nirmatrelvir was associated with reduced risk of PCC (RR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.72-0.77; ARR, 4.51%; 95% CI, 4.01-4.99), including reduced risk of 10 of 13 post–acute sequelae (components of PCC) in the cardiovascular system (dysrhythmia and ischemic heart disease), coagulation and hematologic disorders (pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis), fatigue and malaise, acute kidney disease, muscle pain, neurologic system (neurocognitive impairment and dysautonomia), and shortness of breath. Nirmatrelvir was also associated with reduced risk of post–acute death (HR, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.46-0.61); ARR, 0.65%; 95% CI, 0.54-0.77), and post–acute hospitalization (HR, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.73-0.80; ARR, 1.72%; 95% CI, 1.42-2.01). Nirmatrelvir was associated with reduced risk of PCC in people who were unvaccinated, vaccinated, and boosted, and in people with primary SARS-CoV-2 infection and reinfection.

Conclusions and Relevance This cohort study found that in people with SARS-CoV-2 infection who had at least 1 risk factor for progression to severe disease, treatment with nirmatrelvir within 5 days of a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result was associated with reduced risk of PCC across the risk spectrum in this cohort and regardless of vaccination status and history of prior infection; the totality of findings suggests that treatment with nirmatrelvir during the acute phase of COVID-19 may reduce the risk of post–acute adverse health outcomes.


Authors Conclude "Relatively Safe" as Dozens of Children Die After COVID-19 Vaccination

Peter A. McCullough

As an author and editor, I have always lived by a principle of medical publication that the conclusions must be supported by the data presented. Many have asked me why to do doctors still support COVID-19 vaccination with all safety data systems reporting record mortality after injection? Many cases occur on the same day or in the next few days after administration. The reason may be what doctors are concluding from the data in peer-reviewed manuscripts that does not match the information disclosed.

Villa-Zapata and coworkers published a report from VAERS on “safety” of COVID-19 vaccination in children aged 5 to 17, and in the data table there are 56 deaths! Also listed are other potentially fatal complications such as anaphylaxis and myocarditis. The authors concluded that COVID-19 vaccination in children is “relatively safe.”

Any person reading this report should be shocked and appalled with news of 56 children and adolescents losing their lives after COVID-19 vaccination.

The vast majority of reports to VAERS are made by doctors and healthcare providers who believe the vaccine was the cause of the problem reported. The CDC generates a temporary number followed by a permanent VAERS number when the event is confirmed (e.g., fatal events confirmed by death certificate or national death index). VAERS cases represent the tip of the iceberg and grossly under-represent reality. This means the number of childhood deaths could be 30-fold greater—or 1680 for 2021.

In summary, the COVID-19 pandemic has taught clinical scholars to ignore the written conclusions by the authors who may have conflicts of interest. They may have taken COVID-19 vaccines themselves and cannot psychologically recognize what is happening with catastrophic safety outcomes in populations studied.

The data must be evaluated independently and it is up to the reader to draw his or her own inferences. My conclusion is that COVID-19 vaccines are unsafe for human use and one child lost after injection is one too many. They must be pulled off the market.


Arthritis after COVID-19 Vaccination

Good response to steroids

Peter A. McCullough

Approximately a third of COVID-19 vaccine recipients develop transient fever. It is important to recognize that a constellation of symptoms in addition to fever should prompt recognition of Still’s Disease. Adult-onset Still’s disease, also known as systemic onset juvenile idiopathic arthritis, is a systemic inflammatory disorder characterized by inflammatory polyarthritis, daily fever and a transient salmon-pink maculopapular rash. A serum ferritin level of more than 1000 ng/ml is common in this condition.

Sharabi and colleagues described two cases of adult-onset Still’s disease after the Pfizer mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. Both cases were serious, involved myopericarditis, required hospitalization and treatment with pulsed corticosteroids.

The major points for patients and doctors to pay attention to are fever and associated symptoms after mRNA vaccination. There are vaccine injury syndromes that are steroid-responsive, and complicated courses including hospitalization can potentially be avoided.

Sharabi A, Shiber S, Molad Y. Adult-onset Still's disease following mRNA COVID-19 vaccination. Clin Immunol. 2021 Dec;233:108878. doi: 10.1016/j.clim.2021.108878. Epub 2021 Nov 9. PMID: 34763089; PMCID: PMC8575550.


Biden Signs Measure Ending COVID-19 National Emergency

President Joe Biden on April 10 signed a measure that ends the COVID-19 national emergency more than three years after it was enacted, the White House announced.

HJ Res 7 passed through the Senate on March 29 by a 68-23 margin, with 21 Democrats joining 47 Republicans to support the measure.

Four Republicans and five Democrats did not cast a vote—and 23 Democrats voted against the short resolution—which was introduced by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) last month and passed by the House 229-197 on Feb. 1.

Eleven Democrats voted against the House measure.

The legislation included a simple one-line description declaring that the pandemic national emergency “is hereby terminated.”

Before the Senate vote on the resolution. Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kansas) encouraged his fellow legislators to “end this chapter and let Americans get back to their own lives.”

“I ask my colleagues to join me again in a strong bipartisan fashion in sending this resolution to the president’s desk to end the national emergency declaration for COVID-19 once and for all today,” Marshall said.

President Donald Trump enacted the COVID national emergency on March 13, 2020, after establishing the COVID public health emergency on Jan. 31, 2020.

Originally, the White House planned to end both emergencies on May 11.

In a 60 Minutes interview last September Biden said, “the pandemic is over.”

“We still have a problem with COVID. We’re still doing a lot of work on it. But the pandemic is over,” Biden said.

“If you notice, no one’s wearing masks. Everybody seems to be in pretty good shape. And so I think it’s changing.”

The Biden administration wrote a letter to Congress on Jan. 30 highlighting the reasoning behind the decision to end the COVID national emergency and public health emergency on May 11.

“At present, the administration’s plan is to extend the emergency declarations to May 11, and then end both emergencies on that date.

“This wind down would align with the administration’s previous commitments to give at least 60 days’ notice prior to termination of the PHE,” the letter read.

“To be clear, [the] continuation of these emergency declarations until May 11 does not impose any restriction at all on individual conduct with regard to COVID-19,” the letter continued.

“They do not impose mask mandates or vaccine mandates. They do not restrict school or business operations. They do not require the use of any medicines or tests in response to cases of COVID-19.”


10 April, 2023

Randomized Controlled Study: Twice-Daily Oral Zinc Helps Effectively Treat COVID-19!

Researchers from the Northern African nation of Tunisia investigate the use of twice oral zinc as a regimen targeting SARS-CoV-2. Semir Nouira at University of Monastir, Emergency Department and Laboratory Research and colleagues designed a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter clinical trial investigating the use of zinc supplementation as a potential therapy targeting SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind COVID-19.

Recruiting, randomizing and enrolling COVID-19 patients without end-organ failure, 231 patients were administered oral zinc and 239 participants were given a matching placebo for 15 days. The study protocol included the following primary endpoints: A) death due to COVID-19 and B) intensive care unit (ICU) admission ?30 days post-randomization as well as secondary endpoints including A) length of hospitalization for inpatients and B) duration of COVID-19 symptoms for those outpatient subjects testing positive for the novel coronavirus. The findings suggest a twice-daily regimen of oral zinc helps treat SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind COVID-19.

The study team reports in the published piece in Journal Clinical Infectious Diseases that the VIZIR study was conducted in three Tunisian university referral hospitals (Fattouma Bourguiba Hospital Monastir, Sahloul Hospital Sousse, Farhat Hached Hospital Sousse) and two non-university hospitals (Ksar Hlel Hospital, Teboulba Hospital). Patients were first screened in the COVID-19 triage unit of each participating center. Written informed consent was obtained from all patients before enrollment.

What did the Tunisian team discover?

Out of the total patient pool 190 of the subjects (40.4%) were ambulatory and 280 of the patients (59.6%) were hospitalized. The authors report in the peer reviewed result that at day 30 of the study [mortality was]

5% in the zinc group and 9.2% in the placebo group (OR: .68; 95% CI .34–1.35)

ICU admission rates were, respectively, 5.2% [zinc] and 11.3% (OR: .43; 95% CI .21–.87)

Combined outcome was lower in the zinc group versus the placebo group (OR: .58; 95% CI .33–.99)

Nouira and colleagues report consistent results observed in prespecified subgroups of patients aged <65 years, those with comorbidity, and those who needed oxygen therapy at baseline.

Moreover, those patients given zinc overall experienced shorter hospitalization duration than the placebo group—a difference of 3.5 days (95% CI 2.76–4.23) in the inpatient group. Also, the duration of COVID-19 symptoms decreased with zinc treatment versus the placebo subjects in the outpatient cohort (difference: 1.9 days; 95% CI .62–2.6).

The study investigators report no severe adverse events during the study.


The authors report study limitations. These include:

Generalizability limited beyond patients with moderate clinical severity

The investigators report that they don’t know if larger doses than the amounts prescribed in this study would make a difference declaring this needs more investigation

The investigators ponder if longer treatment with zinc (over 15 days) could add more clinical benefit—they suggest the need for more data, investigation if zinc can help against risk of long COVID

Success of zinc may depend on zinc serum levels and they didn’t assess such levels in this study

Outcomes assessment completed via telephone

Investigator’s POV

A relatively strong study, the authors point out:

“To our knowledge, this study is the first well-powered, placebo-controlled clinical trial to report results of zinc for the treatment of patients with COVID-19. When administered orally to patients hospitalized with COVID-19 without end-organ failure, zinc demonstrated its efficacy to prevent ICU admission and to reduce hospital length of stay; for outpatients, zinc reduced symptom duration. Zinc should be considered for the treatment of patients with COVID-19.”

Journal article:


Masks Cause Headaches, Itching, and Lower Oxygen Intake

A systematic review of 2,168 studies that looked into the adverse effects of wearing masks during the COVID-19 pandemic has found that the practice led to negative health consequences, including itching, headaches, and restriction of oxygen.

“We found significant effects in both medical surgical and N95 masks, with a greater impact of the second,” states the review, published in the “Frontiers in Public Health” on April 5. A meta-analysis of multiple studies found that headache was the “most frequent symptom” among mask wearers, with a prevalence of 62 percent for general mask use and up to 70 percent when using N95 masks. Shortness of breath was observed at 33 percent for general mask use and 37 percent among N95 users.

While 17 percent of surgical mask wearers experienced itching, this number was at 51 percent among users of N95. Acne prevalence among mask users was at 38 percent and skin irritation was at 36 percent. Dizziness was found to be prevalent among 5 percent of subjects.

“Masks interfered with O2-uptake and CO2-release and compromised respiratory compensation,” the review states. “Though evaluated wearing durations are shorter than daily/prolonged use, outcomes independently validate mask-induced exhaustion-syndrome (MIES) and down-stream physio-metabolic disfunctions. MIES can have long-term clinical consequences, especially for vulnerable groups.”

The restriction of oxygen uptake and hindrance in carbon-di-oxide release was identified as more significant among users of N95 masks. Continuous rebreathing of carbon dioxide results in the “right-shift of hemoglobin-O2 saturation curve.”

“Since O2 and CO2 homeostasis influences diverse down-stream metabolic processes, corresponding changes toward clinically concerning directions may lead to unfavorable consequences such as transient hypoxemia and hypercarbia, increased breath humidity, and body temperature along with compromised physiological compensations,” the review states.

The review also said that several mask-related symptoms may have been misinterpreted as symptoms of long COVID. “In any case, the possible MIES contrasts with the WHO definition of health,” it states, referring to the World Health Organization.

It suggested that the side effects of face masks be assessed based on risk-benefit analysis after taking into consideration their effectiveness against viral transmissions. If “strong empirical evidence” showing the effectiveness of masks is absent, the study recommended that wearing masks should not be mandated, “let alone enforced by law.”

Sudden Mask Policy Change, Suppressing Studies

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, existing data on respiratory viruses had shown that there was no basis for wearing masks to prevent their spread. “All the studies done in the world until 2020 showed that there is no justification for this,” Yoav Yehezkelli, a specialist in internal medicine and a lieutenant colonel in the Israel Defense Forces, said in an interview with The Epoch Times in January.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the WHO issued guidelines that there was no need for wearing masks in the general public, he pointed out.

But in 2020 following the COVID-19 outbreak, recommendations on mask-wearing around the world suddenly changed “without having any new professional support to confirm that it does indeed have effectiveness against respiratory infection.”

A December letter that he co-wrote and sent to the Israel Medical Association Journal pointed to multiple studies suggesting that wearing masks can end up causing harm.

Potential negative effects include headaches, shortness of breath, a dip in blood oxygen levels, a rise in carbon dioxide levels, concentration difficulties, and bacterial contamination. The accumulation of CO2 can end up causing tiredness, blurriness, and sleepiness, he noted.

There have also been attempts to subdue studies that expose the ineffectiveness of masks. A 2023 study published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews stated that wearing masks made “little or no difference” when it came to the transmission of COVID-19.

A columnist at The New York Times published an opinion piece titled “Here’s Why the Science Is Clear That Masks Work” and reached out to Cochrane for its view. The editor-in-chief at Cochrane then issued a statement saying that it’s an “inaccurate and misleading interpretation” to say the study shows that masks do not work, adding that the publication was “engaging” with the authors on updating the article’s abstract.

However, the authors refused to do so, with the lead author insisting that “there is just no evidence that [masks] make any difference … full stop.


Swiss National Health Authority Backs off from COVID-19 Vaccination: Recommendation Not, even for Vulnerable Populations

Recently several groups critical of the COVID-19 vaccines declared that Switzerland has banned COVID-19 vaccines. Is this true? Not quite in those terms. But the Switzerland’s Federal Health Agency (Bundesgesundheitsamt, BMG) made material changes to the national vaccination schedule that certainly hasn’t received mainstream press attention in North America.

The agency has backed away from recommending COVID-19 vaccination this spring and summer. Of course, it’s off-season for respiratory viruses, which could be part of the explanation. However, what else does the national Swiss health authority now promulgate on the topic of COVID-19 vaccination?

As mentioned above the BMG withdraws any COVID-19 recommendation for the spring and summer of 2023. However, the agency remains open for COVID-19 vaccine assessment for at-risk individuals, meaning the elderly, persons with comorbidities, those with immunosuppressed conditions.

The agency notes that a majority of the population has been vaccinated, an implicit message that the COVID-19 vaccine products do contribute to some protection against the Omicron-based variants. However, BMG also conveys that many have been infected already acknowledging that natural immunity can potentially be superior to vaccination itself while they acknowledge the overall Omicron pathogen becomes far less acute.

On that note, TrialSite recently reported that on one study in China covering the BA.5 Omicron subvariant—over 90% of the study participants infected with SARS-CoV-2 omicron were asymptomatic!

Of course, come the colder seasons later in 2023 and BMG reminds the agency will re-evaluate the recommendations.

Is BMG recommending COVID-19 vaccine for “particularly vulnerable people?”

In what could be a surprise move from a North American perspective the Swiss national health authority is backing off on any recommendation for COVID-19 vaccine. Clearly the agency has some concerns they are not overtly sharing with the masses.

BMG recommends that if individuals seek a COVID-19 vaccine they can consult with their physicians as “Vaccination can be useful in individual cases because it improves protection against serious illness for several months.”


9 April, 2023

New Medical Codes for COVID-19 Vaccination Status Used to Track People, CDC Confirms

This sounds disturbingly totalitarian -- easily capable of misuse, particularly if you are an antivxxer. Antivaxxers have experienced a lot of legal pressure so have reason to be concerned. Time has shown their resistance to be reasonably founded but that is unlikely to win them any forgiveness for defying the State. A lady in my life is a confirmed anti-vaxxer and she is to this day restricted in her travel plans

Medical codes introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic to show when people are unvaccinated or undervaccinated for COVID-19 are being used to track people, the top U.S. public health agency has confirmed.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) made the confirmation in emails that The Epoch Times obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The CDC had said in documents and public statements that the goal of the new codes, in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) system, was “to track people who are not immunized or only partially immunized.”

The CDC now says it does not have access to the data, but that health care systems do.

“The ICD codes were implemented in April 2022, however the CDC does not have any data on the codes and does not track this information,” CDC officials said in the emails.

“The codes were created to enable healthcare providers to track within their practices,” the officials added.

The emails were sent to news outlets. The CDC has not answered queries from The Epoch Times about the codes, which the CDC added to the U.S. ICD system in 2022.

How Providers Are Using the Codes

The CDC proposed the codes in 2021. “There has been interest expressed in being able to track people who are not immunized or who are only partially immunized,” Dr. David Berglund, a CDC medical officer, said during a meeting about the proposal.

One code is for being “unvaccinated for COVID-19.” Another is for being partially vaccinated, or not having received a primary series of a COVID-19 vaccine.

In comments to the CDC about the proposal, health care providers said they supported adding the codes—with some detailing how they’d be used.

Identifying people who are unvaccinated or undervaccinated for COVID-19 “will help health insurance providers identify emollees [sic] who may benefit from outreach and further education about vaccination,” Danielle Lloyd, a senior vice president at America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), and Adam Myers, senior vice president at the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, said in a joint letter to the CDC.

“Creating ICD-10 codes that can be tracked via claims would provide health insurance providers key information to help increase immunization rates,” they added.

In another missive, Nancy Andersen, a director with Kaiser Permanente Health Plan and Hospitals, and Erica Eastham, executive director at The Permanente Federation LLC, told the CDC: “These codes provide valuable data for understanding immunization rates and for follow-up with under-immunized patients.”

Andersen and Eastham urged the CDC to advise providers entering one of the new codes to also enter an additional code indicating why a person was unvaccinated or undervaccinated, with reasons including due to a contraindication or due to “belief or group pressure.”

The comments were obtained by The Epoch Times through the Freedom of Information Act.

Most of the providers and other health care groups, including the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), that commented did not respond to inquiries.

AHIP declined to say what education it offered to people tracked through the new codes. A spokeswoman pointed to a Feb. 28, 2022, article that outlines steps providers have taken to promote vaccination.

The codes are part of the ICD’s 10th edition. The World Health Organization of the United Nations holds the copyright for ICD-10 but has allowed the U.S. government to adopt the edition, according to the CDC. The new codes are not part of the World Health Organization’s ICD.

All health care entities covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act must use the U.S. version of the ICD. The U.S. version is updated at least once a year. Coded ICD data from providers enable public health officials to “conduct many disease-related activities,” according to the CDC. Purposes include enabling a doctor seeing a new patient to easily retrieve the patient’s medical history.


Health care officials largely said they supported adding the codes because being unvaccinated or undervaccinated was a “risk factor.”

“AHIMA supported the new codes for underimmunization for COVID-19 status because being unvaccinated or partially vaccinated because this status is a health risk factor, increasing the individual’s risk of morbidity and mortality,” a spokeswoman for AHIMA told The Epoch Times via email.

“The ICD-10-CM coding system includes codes for many health risk factors, and being underimmunized for COVID-19 status represents another type of risk factor. It is important to be able to identify factors influencing a patient’s health status so that healthcare providers are aware of the person’s increased risk,” the spokeswoman added.

Some experts have said there is no medical indication for the new codes, given the small risk most Americans face from COVID-19.

“I have a hard time clinically seeing the medical indication of using them,” Dr. Todd Porter, a pediatrician, told The Epoch Times previously. “We do not do this for influenza, which in the younger age groups has a higher IFR [infection fatality ratio] than COVID-19. Using these codes also disregards the contribution of natural immunity which research evidence shows is more robust than vaccine immunity.”

CDC Refuses to Answer Members of Congress

The CDC, meanwhile, has refused to answer questions from members of Congress about the codes.

Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) and nine other members said they were concerned about the federal government apparently gathering data on the personal choices of Americans and said they believe the data “serves no sincere purpose in treating patients’ medical conditions.”

“The ICD system was originally intended to classify diagnoses and reasons for visiting the doctor, not to conduct surveillance on the personal medical decisions of American citizens. Given the profound uncertainty and distrust felt by many Americans toward the CDC and the medical apparatus at large, it is important for the CDC to make clear the intent and purpose of these new codes,” the members said, asking for answers to questions such as what steps the CDC is taking to make sure Americans’ private health information is protected.

The CDC has not replied to the Feb. 14 letter, members told The Epoch Times.

“I have asked five simple questions about the CDC’s unprecedented tracking of why Americans declined the COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC has so far refused to answer these basic questions. The American people deserve answers on what data CDC is gathering on Americans and why,” Roy told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement.

“The American people deserve to know what the CDC is doing with their personal data. It has now been more than a month and a half, and the CDC still refuses to tell us why it is tracking Americans’ reasons for not taking the COVID-19 vaccine,” added Rep. Josh Brecheen (R-Okla.). “The CDC must be held accountable to the American taxpayer.”


China must share data on COVID-19's origins 'immediately,' WHO scientist demands

Scientists in China collected key coronavirus data in 2020 from a market in Wuhan — ground zero of the first reported outbreak of COVID-19 — but didn't share the raw data publicly until March 2023. And experts suspect that China has much more data from the early pandemic that "have yet to be shared" with the global research community.

That's according to a new editorial, published Thursday (April 6) in the journal Science(opens in new tab) and penned by Maria Van Kerkhove(opens in new tab), the COVID-19 technical lead for the World Health Organization (WHO). China likely has data that could shed light on how the pandemic began, Van Kerkhove wrote, and the country's failure to disclose the data makes the whole world more vulnerable to future pandemics.

These undisclosed data likely include details of China's wild- and farmed-animal trades, as well as the operations of labs in Wuhan that work with coronaviruses, according to the editorial. The data also may include details about the earliest potential cases of COVID-19 detected in China and the diagnostic testing that was conducted in humans and animals in the early days of the pandemic.

"WHO continues to call on China and all countries to share any data on the origins of SARS-CoV-2, immediately," Van Kerkhove wrote. "The world needs to move away from the politics of blame and, instead, exploit all diplomatic and scientific approaches so that the global scientific community can do what it does best — collaborate, focus on this health crisis, and find evidence-based solutions to thwart future pandemics."

Van Kerkhove's statement was prompted by events that took place last month. In early March, researchers from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC) uploaded never-before-seen coronavirus data to Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data (GISAID), an open-access database that includes data on influenza viruses and SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The data was later removed from GISAID but not before being downloaded by researchers outside China.

This international team of researchers reported that the data showed that SARS-CoV-2 genetic material and the DNA of common raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) were present in and around the exact same stalls at Wuhan's Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in January 2020. The data cannot prove that the raccoon dogs, a fox relative, were actively infected with SARS-CoV-2 at the time, but they strongly raise the possibility that infected animals were at the market, potentially spreading the virus to other animals and to humans.

This analysis prompted a meeting of the WHO Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogens (SAGO), the China CDC researchers and the international team that analyzed the newly released raccoon dog data. China's failure to share the data back in 2020 is "simply inexcusable," Van Kerkhove wrote in her editorial.

"Still needed are studies that trace and test those animals to their source and serologic studies of the workers in live animal markets in Wuhan or in the source farms," Van Kerkhove wrote. "Without such investigations, we cannot fully understand the factors that led to the start of this pandemic."

"Every new piece of data could potentially move the world closer to stopping another pandemic — perhaps a worse one — in the future," she wrote.


7 April, 2023

Dr. Redfield’s Bombshell Testimony

Robert W Malone

Yesterday, we witnessed the ex-director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), under oath, directly blame Dr. Fauci and the U.S. government for the deaths of millions of people.

However, if you went to the headlines of Google News—there was nary a news story. I guess Google felt it wasn’t important enough to warrant above-the-fold status

The actual testimony of Redfield was explosive. Yet none of these headlines belie the gravity of Redfield’s testimony. Redfield directly linked gain-of-function research and the creation of SARS-CoV-WIV to Fauci, and to the U.S. government—including the Department of Defense (DOD). He absolutely believes and gives sworn testimony to the effect that Fauci and Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust and soon be the chief scientist at the World Health Organization, covered up the lab leak information. Redfield himself was excluded from the meetings when the processes, strategy, and tactics for covering up the lab leak were developed.

This winter, we had a high-level federal employee on the farm. He/she came to me anonymously to express concerns about what had happened in the execution of this corrupt and failed public health response, and in particular to how the vaccines were developed and implemented. She/he discussed how all of the high-level meetings on the clinical trials, the safety of the vaccine, and the public health response, were all done under complete secrecy. Recorders were turned off, plus cell phones and computers were not allowed in the meetings. So there are literally NO RECORDS of these meetings.

This person believes that finding evidence of the malfeasance in the meeting minutes or recordings is going to be difficult. So when the New York Times headliner (above) cynically states that the Republicans lack a “smoking gun,” I believe they know damn well why. The New York Times reporting and editorial staff are many things, but they are not stupid.

But here is the thing, I do speak to people working on these issues in Congress. I have been told that the federal government has a large paper trail that documents the corruption over the past three years.

Written Statement of Dr Robert Redfield Before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis. March 8, 2023

Chairman Wenstrup, Ranking Member Ruiz, and members of the Committee, my name is Dr. Robert Redfield. I am pleased to testify today in support of this subcommittee’s important work—to investigate the origin of the COVID-19 virus that resulted in the deaths of over one million Americans.

As I know this Committee is aware, from 2018-2021 I served as the 18th Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the Trump administration. As CDC Director, I oversaw the agency’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic from the earliest days of its spread and served as a member of the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force.

But perhaps more relevant to the purpose of this hearing, my 45 years in medicine has been focused on the study of viruses. I am a virologist by training and practice. Prior to my time at the CDC, I spent more than 20 years as a U.S. Army physician and medical researcher at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research where I served as the Chief of the Department of Retroviral Research and worked in virology, immunology, and clinical research at the forefront of the AIDS epidemic and other viral threats. In 1996, I co-founded the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in partnership with the State of Maryland, the City of Baltimore, and the University System of Maryland where I served as the Director of Clinical Care and Research and also served as a tenured professor of medicine, microbiology and immunology; chief of infectious disease; and vice chair of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. After my time at CDC, I served as the senior public health advisor to Governor Hogan and the State of Maryland.

As COVID-19 began to spread across the world, there were two competing hypotheses about the virus’s origin that needed to be vigorously explored. The first hypothesis is the possibility that COVID-19 infections in humans were the result of a “spillover event” from nature. This is a situation in which a virus naturally mutates and becomes transmissible from one species to another—in this case, from bats to humans via an intermittent species. This is what happened in previous outbreaks of SARS and MERS, earlier coronaviruses that emerged from bats and spread through an intermediate animal. The second hypothesis is the possibility that the virus evolved in a lab involved in gain-of-function research. This is a type of research in 2 which scientists seek to increase the transmissibility and or pathogenicity of an organism in order to better understanding the organism and inform preparedness efforts and the development of countermeasures such as therapeutics and vaccines. Under this theory, COVID-19 infected the general population after it was accidentally leaked from a lab in China.

From the earliest days of the pandemic, my view was that both theories about the origin of COVID-19 needed to be aggressively and thoroughly examined. Based on my initial analysis of the data, I came to believe—and still believe today—that it indicates COVID-19 infections more likely were the result of an accidental lab leak than the result of a natural spillover event. This conclusion is based primarily on the biology of the virus itself, including its rapid high infectivity for human to human transmission which would then predict rapid evolution of new variants, as well as a number of other important factors to include the unusual actions in and around Wuhan in the fall of 2019, all of which I am happy to discuss today.

Even given the information that has surfaced in the three years since the COVID-19 pandemic began, some have contended that there is no point in investigating the origins of this virus. I strongly disagree. There is a global need to know what we are dealing with in the COVID-19 virus because it affects how we approach the problem to try and prevent the next pandemic.

Understanding the origins of COVID-19 is critical for the future of scientific research, particularly as it affects the ongoing ethical debate around the conduct of gain-of-function research. Gain-of-function has long been controversial within the scientific community, and, in my opinion, the COVID-19 pandemic presents a case study on the potential dangers of such research. While many believe that gain-of-function research is critical to get ahead of viruses by developing vaccines, in this case, I believe it had the exact opposite result, unleashing a new virus on the world without any means of stopping it and resulting in the deaths of millions of people. Because of this, it is my opinion that we should call for a moratorium on all gain-of-function research until we can have a broader debate and come to a consensus as a community about the value of gain-of-function research. This debate should not be limited to the scientific community. If the decision is to continue gain-of-function research then it must be determined how and where to conduct this research in a safe, responsible and effective way.

Thank you again for inviting me to be here today as we explore these important topics. I look forward to answering your questions.


Omicron BA.5 Overpowers China’s Vaccines in Study: After 3 Months Sinopharm Useless Against Transmission

Researchers affiliated with Chinese academic medical centers including the University of Hong Kong, Xinjiang Medical University, Capital Medical University and the Urumqi Center for Disease Control and Prevention led by Shi Zhao, Ph.D., and Yaoqin Lu, Ph.D. sought out to better understand the transmission characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA.5 variants and whether inactivated vaccines used in China associated with a protective outcome against the transmission of these COVID-19 variants.

Designing a cohort observational study involving 1139 participants with COVID-19, the authors report that despite significant levels of contact tracing, high vaccination rates and other intensive control measures employed in Mainland China, Omicron BA.5 variants represent a high risk for transmission in household settings across all age cohorts.

When comparing persons vaccinated with a 2-dose inactivated vaccine versus those with primary series and a booster dose, the latter is associated with a more protective outcome against Omicron BA.5 transmission. While Omicron BA.5 represents a highly transmissible pathogen, the combination of vaccine and nonpharmaceutical interventions may be linked to some reduced transmission.

But the takeaway was stark. After three months, the authors found the vaccines afford absolutely no protection against transmission. 90.7% of infected cases were asymptomatic, demonstrating how mild COVID-19 has actually become—at least, for purposes of this study in this city of over 4 million in China’s far northwest.

Published recently in JAMA Network, this study was conducted in Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in the far northwest of China. BA.5 was in heavy circulation during the time of this study—an outbreak in the region from August 7 to September 7, 2022. The study occurred before China dropped its zero-tolerance policy. The investigators sought out to evaluate the transmission characteristics of this particular transmissible form of Omicron known as BA.5 as well as the overall effectiveness of the Chinese inactivated vaccines, centering on BBIBP-CorV (Sinopharm) against transmission of the virus.

The study

In this observational study known as a cohort study, the investigators embraced data from an Omicron-seeded COVID-19 outbreak in Urumqi during August 7 to September 7, 2022. Study participants had to have confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections along with their close contacts so that the team could compare a booster dose to 2 doses of inactivated vaccine along with identified risk factors.

The study design factored in a range of data from demographic characteristics and timeline records from exposure to laboratory testing outcomes to contact tracing history and contact setting. The study team used models to estimate mean and variance of key time-to-event intervals of transmission. Categorizing and analyzing various disease-control measures across a variety of contact settings, the study team analyzed transmission risks and contact patterns. Employing use of multivariate logistic regression models, Zhao, Lu and colleagues estimated the effectiveness of the Chinese inactivated vaccines with a prime focus on Sinopharm.

What were the findings?

The study included 1139 people diagnosed with COVID-19 as reported by the authors in JAMA Network. 630 (55.3%) of the total were females while the mean [SD] age, 37.4 [19.9] years) and 51?323 close contacts who tested negative for COVID-19 (26?299 females [51.2%]; mean [SD] age, 38.4 [16.0] years), the means of generation interval, viral shedding period, and incubation period were estimated at 2.8 days (95% credible interval [CrI], 2.4-3.5 days), 6.7 days (95% CrI, 6.4-7.1 days), and 5.7 days (95% CrI, 4.8-6.6 days), respectively.

Zhao, Lu and colleagues wrote in JAMA Network that rigorous contact tracking, intensive control measures and nearly universal vaccination (86% received ?2 doses of vaccine) in this region 980 persons were recorded with infections. The authors report, “High transmission risks were found in household settings (secondary attack rate, 14.7%; 95% CrI, 13.0%-16.5%) and younger (aged 0-15 years; secondary attack rate, 2.5%; 95% CrI, 1.9%-3.1%) and older age (aged >65 years; secondary attack rate, 2.2%; 95% CrI, 1.5%-3.0%) groups.”

The authors report a vaccine effectiveness rate against Omicron BA.5 booster dose vs. two doses at 28.9% (95% CrI, 7.7%-45.2%) and 48.5% (95% CrI, 23.9%-61.4%) for 15-90 days after booster dose. A troubling report—“no protective outcome was detected beyond 90 days after the booster dose.” Thus, the inactivated vaccines used in China against COVID-19 are essentially worthless after three months.

While the booster provided some protection it wasn’t that robust, meaning that Omicron BA. 5 spread rapidly even among vaccinated persons in households. Past three months the vaccine afforded no protection against transmission.


The study authors acknowledge a number of limitations.

Recall bias and underreporting during contact tracing may impact accuracy of identified transmission pairs, thus biasing the GI estimates

Vaccine effectiveness rates may not be generalizable to other vaccines, such as mRNA vaccines

7% of SARS-CoV-2 infections asymptomatic—this means that the findings may not be extendable to persons who are infected with severe COVID-19.


6 April, 2023

Is the cost of living leap caused by excessive government spending?

It is conventional economics to say it is. If a government prints a lot of new money to finance a big increase in their spending, it must devalue each individual dollar. There will be more dollars chasing the same amount of goods and services so prices must go up to ration out the available goods and services. It's pretty simple logic.

But Leftists don't like that logic. They like to think that governments can spend as much as they like as long it is in a good cause. They just ignore the economics of the matter.

But a prominent Leftist economist has come to their rescue. Joseph Stiglitz is a Nobel prize winner and one of the many Jews who support Leftist causes.

I am referring to an academic article under the title "The Causes of and Responses to Today’s Inflation". It is here:

In it, economists Joseph E. Stiglitz and Ira Regmi argue that excessive government spending is NOT the cause of our current inflation. It is dated December 2022 so there should have been some critique of it by now but I can find none. So I thought I might note what I think is a basic problem with it.

For a start, nobody disputes that cost-push factors have had a significant role. Government lockdowns greatly disrupted supply chains and thus drove up shortage-driven prices. And the sanctions in response to Vladimir Putin's war were a further huge supply chain limitation.

But was that all that there was to it? Stiglitz & Co. say it was and they justify that by saying that consumption during the the recent inflationary period has not been high. They say: "Real personal consumption, even after recovering from the depths of the pandemic, was only slightly above trend and not commensurate with the level of inflation seen during the same time."

He is here using absolutes rather than relativities. The demand might have been subdued in absolute terms but that fails to take account of the already mentioned supply deficiencies and their price consequences. That demand remained at or a bit above previous levels DESPITE the higher prices and poor availability of some goods, shows that cost push pressures were not the only influence at work. We also have to look at people's RESPONSE to the cost push pressures. And when we do that we see that demand was in fact high in the circumstances. And what pressure kept that demand surprisingly high? Demand pull, that good old profligate government spending and its usual effect of creating high demand

Stiglitz tries to get government spending off the hook as a cause of inflation but we see that government spending did have an expansionary effect on demand if we look at demand in context.


COVID-19 Vaccine Injured: Left Alone, in Often, Dire Declining Health, Mounting Debt & Absolutely No Help from Government

Most recently, KOMO News, a Seattle-based ABC Television affiliate owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, one of the largest and most diversified broadcast companies in America, drills into this crisis, covering some of the devastating challenges faced by individuals identified as COVID-19 vaccine injured. From debilitating injuries to mounting debt and the specter of bankruptcy, the government offers no real help.

Introducing local case stories of patients injured in the Pacific Northwest region and beyond, Brooke Conrad with the National Desk reports that out of 12,000 COVID-19 vaccine-related injury or death-related claims with the U.S. government under its horribly broken Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP), absolutely none have been compensated for as of March 1, 2023, while 23 have been deemed eligible for compensation but not paid. The reporter reminds the reader that 300 have been denied claims associated with the dysfunctional vaccine injury scheme used during the national public health emergency.

As TrialSite has reported since early in the pandemic, the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) offers industry and the vaccine administration supply chain near universal immunity except for some extremely difficult-to-prove exceptions. It turns out, industry refused to develop vaccines unless elected officials years ago voted to include universal liability waivers.

So, despite the acceleration of novel mRNA and viral vector technology and the government’s absolute protection of industry, the only thing protecting consumers is the “deeply flawed” CICP, and the track record is awful. Conrad reports that from 2010 through 2021, the program only compensated 6% of all non-COVID-related claims, or 29 out of 491 claims totaling $6 million in payouts. Most of the claims involved the H1N1 vaccine.

Summarizing the program’s impact is Renee Gentry, Director of the Vaccine Injury Litigation Clinic at George Washington University Law School:

“The countermeasures program is basically a black hole. It’s your right to file and lose. I don't think it was ever anticipated to handle the number of vaccinations that have happened under COVID.”

Select COVID-19 vaccine injured stories

The recent piece from the mainstream media introduces a handful of COVID-19 vaccine injury stories such as Steve Wenger, who eventually became paralyzed from the waist down for a time from the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. Mr. Wenger now finds himself deep in a financial hole due to the circumstances. Only very expensive IVIg infusions twice per month plus Rituximab every six months has helped.

Another person injured by the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine was introduced--Michelle Zimmerman. Vaccinated in March 2021, Zimmerman experienced severe pain shooting down her arm just five minutes after the jab. Her tongue and throat swelled up for about 20 minutes leading to a “harrowing cascade of other adverse events.” This COVID-19 vaccine-injured patient was ultimately diagnosed with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (brain damage triggered by lack of oxygen or blood flow).

Facing mounting financial losses, over $400,000 as insurance repeatedly declined to cover many of her clinic visits, a combination of lost wages have led her parents, who were supposed to retire, to continue working to support their daughter. While Zimmerman filed a CICP compensation case in October 2021, she wasn’t assigned a case number until January 2023, when she received ongoing conflicting messages from CICP.

TrialSite has supported COVID-19 vaccine-injured group React19, the largest COVID-19 patient advocacy group in the United States if not the world. With over 20,000 identified members, Chris Dreisbach heads up the organization’s lead affairs department.

Himself injured by the Pfizer vaccine in March 2021, he since then struggled with a diagnosis including chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuritis which has led to involuntary muscle spasms, modified gait, back pain and a headache disorder called occipital neuralgia not to mention brain fog and electrical pulses from head to toe.

The React19 legal counsel went on the record with Ms. Conrad: “Without having their experts’ fees paid, the COVID vaccine-injured hands are absolutely tied behind their backs.” He concluded, “These cases often come down to the battle of the experts.”

On the prospect of CICP and its standard of proof to secure vaccine injury award—difficult to say the least, what with so much research still left essentially leading to that conflict among the experts. But the highly funded certainly have the advantage.

In another case covered by Conrad, just 30 minutes after Cody Flint received his Pfizer mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, the pilot experienced debilitating pain in the form of a “severe, stabbing headache.” Just two days later, Flint, who flies crop dusting missions, nearly blacked out in the air! He underwent two ear surgeries, and his physician has gone on the record that the injuries are likely linked to the COVID-19 vaccine. With no insurance at the time, Flint faces a mountain of debt.

Devoid of humanity

Flint’s claim was ultimately denied. Along the way, he provided testimony—at the year mark awaiting determination from CICP. His case was discussed during a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing: Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-MISS directly addressed the matter with Biden administration Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, asking:

“Can you tell me what you’re going to do to address the thousands of claims currently in the backlog at HHS, and what you are doing to improve the transparency of the CICP process so that Americans like Mr. Flint are properly compensated in a reasonable time period?”

The response speaks for itself, as Becerra switched the topic, avoiding the issue at hand, declaring lots of Americans suffer from long COVID, and that fraudsters are misappropriating money designated for COVID-19 purposes. The Biden HHS head expressed absolutely no empathy, no real humanity—just a bureaucrat protecting the program despite the reality of his agency’s mission statement:

“The mission of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is to enhance the health and well-being of all Americans, by providing for effective health and human services and by fostering sound, sustained advances in the sciences underlying medicine, public health and social services.”

Targeted transition

As reported by KOMO News a movement grows to push for the COVID-19 vaccines to be transferred from CICP to the primary vaccine injury program known as the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program or “VICP.” Operating via a court process rather than an administrative one, VICP covers much of the routine scheduled vaccines reports Conrad. While compensation claim success is certainly higher than CICP, critics lament that VICP is a horribly broken system as well.

But with no real options COVID-19 vaccine injured advocates push on that something is better than nothing. For example, from 2006 to 2021, Conrad states that the program compensated almost three-quarters of all adjudicated petitions (7,418 out of 10,342) paying out about $4.9 billion since the program onset in 1988.

The largest COVID-19 vaccine injured organization network, React19 provides a breakdown comparison of the two programs.

KOMO News reports three “hurdles” faced by advocates that seek to transfer the COVID-19 vaccine injured from CICP to VICP, including 1) vaccine placed on routine CDC recommended schedule (this has been cleared), 2) Congress must pass an excise tax to fund the compensation program and 3) the standing Secretary of Health and Human Services needs to add the COVID-19 vaccines to the Vaccine Injury Table, delineating both injuries and conditions associated with the vaccines.


5 April, 2023

Risk Factors Associated With Post?COVID-19 Condition: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Vasiliki Tsampasian, et al.

Yikes! Big study in a major medical journal shows that vaccination gave you virtually no protection against long Covid: Tiny OR of 0.57


Importance Post?COVID-19 condition (PCC) is a complex heterogeneous disorder that has affected the lives of millions of people globally. Identification of potential risk factors to better understand who is at risk of developing PCC is important because it would allow for early and appropriate clinical support.

Objective To evaluate the demographic characteristics and comorbidities that have been found to be associated with an increased risk of developing PCC.

Data sources Medline and Embase databases were systematically searched from inception to December 5, 2022.

Study Selection The meta-analysis included all published studies that investigated the risk factors and/or predictors of PCC in adult (?18 years) patients.

Data Extraction and Synthesis Odds ratios (ORs) for each risk factor were pooled from the selected studies. For each potential risk factor, the random-effects model was used to compare the risk of developing PCC between individuals with and without the risk factor. Data analyses were performed from December 5, 2022, to February 10, 2023.

Main Outcomes and Measures The risk factors for PCC included patient age; sex; body mass index, calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared; smoking status; comorbidities, including anxiety and/or depression, asthma, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, immunosuppression, and ischemic heart disease; previous hospitalization or ICU (intensive care unit) admission with COVID-19; and previous vaccination against COVID-19.

Results The initial search yielded 5334 records of which 255 articles underwent full-text evaluation, which identified 41 articles and a total of 860 783 patients that were included. The findings of the meta-analysis showed that female sex (OR, 1.56; 95% CI, 1.41-1.73), age (OR, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.11-1.33), high BMI (OR, 1.15; 95% CI, 1.08-1.23), and smoking (OR, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.07-1.13) were associated with an increased risk of developing PCC. In addition, the presence of comorbidities and previous hospitalization or ICU admission were found to be associated with high risk of PCC (OR, 2.48; 95% CI, 1.97-3.13 and OR, 2.37; 95% CI, 2.18-2.56, respectively). Patients who had been vaccinated against COVID-19 with 2 doses had a significantly lower risk of developing PCC compared with patients who were not vaccinated (OR, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.43-0.76).

Conclusions and Relevance This systematic review and meta-analysis demonstrated that certain demographic characteristics (eg, age and sex), comorbidities, and severe COVID-19 were associated with an increased risk of PCC, whereas vaccination had a protective role against developing PCC sequelae. These findings may enable a better understanding of who may develop PCC and provide additional evidence for the benefits of vaccination.


Does NIH’s RECOVER Trial Planning (long COVID) Deviate from Emerging Science?

While the community of long COVID patients were supportive of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) RECOVER (Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery) initiative with an aim of finding effective treatments for the condition, patient communities have been actively challenging the NIH on approach.

With a recent petition from an organization Long COVID Justice and multiple letters sent by Santa Monica, CA-based #MEAction USA, long COVID patient advocates are concerned about the extensive levels of exercise trials involved in the program, a problematic issue given emerging scientific evidence suggesting a large percentage of the long COVID cohort struggles with “post-exertional malaise” (PEM). Long COVID patient advocates are rightly concerned. Involving a worsening of symptoms from fatigue to difficulty regulating body temperature and cognitive dysfunction after even a light exercise session, the long COVID patient advocacy groups point out a significant delta between the reality of this common condition associated with long COVID and imminent NIH study protocols that introduce the potential for outright danger to the participants at least in some cases.

In reality, the critics are pointing out the possibly detached nature of clinical research planning at the NIH and academic medical center partners—a delta between the academic researchers’ assumptions and the real-world conditions, needs and demands on the ground.

What is the RECOVER initiative?

As TrialSite has chronicled, the RECOVER initiative was announced by the NIH in early 2021. The program was made possible by a Congressional injection of $1.15 billion for over four years to the NIH to support research into the prolonged health consequences of SARS-CoV-2 infection, announced the NIH’s director at the time.

The NIH organized a team of mostly academic-based researchers to identify the most pressing research questions plus areas of what they deemed greatest opportunity to address what the NIH identifies as an emerging public health propriety.

The research first started with the “NIH PASC Initiative” in a bid to learn more about how COVID-19 may lead to widespread and lasting symptoms in addition to developing ways to treat or even prevent such symptoms.

Out of the total funding from U.S. Congress, $172 million has been allocated to conduct clinical trials at Duke Clinical Research Institute. The NIH wasn’t forthright with the journal Nature as to how much of those funds would be used to fund exercise trials.

A real problem

Fast forward a couple of years, and the problems have only worsened. Recently, Rachel Fairbank addressed this matter in a recent entry in the journal Nature. Introducing that up to 23 million people in America alone struggle in one way or another with long COVID, TrialSite has chronicled that across multiple populations the rate appears to range from 10% to as high as 30% during different periods of the pandemic. According to one report associated with an analysis of long COVID workers’ compensation claims in the State of New York between January 1, 2022 and March 31, 2022, 18% of persons with long COVID have yet to return to work over a year after recovering from COVID-19.

What’s the issue?

At least some of the long COVID clinical trial protocols developed by the NIH as part of RECOVER involve extensive exercise as part of the study. Yet given the incidence of PEM, patient advocates have heightened concern that long COVID trial participants won’t be appropriately informed about possible risks, nor will the participants be properly screened for PEM nor will the monitoring be adequately directed to monitor patients for the harm that too much exercise can introduce.

Succinctly summarizing the issue, Lisa McCorkell, a co-founder of the Patient-Led Research Collaborative for long COVID, a Washington D.C.-based research and advocacy group calls the whole problem out:

“In a world where there’s hundreds of things to trial, why are we choosing this one thing that we know has the potential to cause harm to a substantial portion of patients?”

What’s RECOVER’s response?

According to the recent piece in Nature, Duke Clinical Research Institute serves as the RECOVER Clinical Trials Data Coordinating Center, sending a statement to Nature on behalf of the NIH declaring, “Trials being planned for RECOVER — which stands for Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery — have not yet launched and that the agency is working with patient representatives in shaping the exercise trial protocol.”

Interestingly, while the communication assured the journalist that the study investigators are in fact, meeting with the long COVID patient representatives to discuss the matters raised in the letters and petition, the NIH failed to make any such representatives available to the prominent publication for an interview in time for the published entry. The full protocols for RECOVER research studies haven’t been reviewed by an institutional review board meaning no research has commenced. Only after that point will the NIH share the protocol which is strange—this is a publicly funded research affair. Why the secrecy?


W.H.O. Do You Trust?


Trust in public health has been shattered—half of America has lost faith in the scientific community altogether. Apparently blind to that loss of trust and the urgent need for transparency, our current government is doubling down on World Health Organization (WHO) decrees that directly circumvent public oversight.

The WHO has drafted a new global Pandemic Accord. Before seeing anything final in what will be legally binding, the U.S. ambassador to the WHO, Pamela Hamamoto, on February 27 imprudently promised “The United States is committed to the Pandemic Accord.”

This comes immediately after the exposure of yet another disgrace undermining trust in public health institutions. It turned out the February 2020 Lancet article calling the lab origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus a “conspiracy theory” was itself the true conspiracy, contrived behind closed doors contemporaneously with a March 2020 publication in Nature. If that coordinated media campaign was designed to conceal malfeasance by Drs. Francis Collins and Anthony Fauci—who, as leaders of America’s National Institutes of Health, reportedly sent American tax dollars to fund China’s dangerous gain-of-function research and circumvent Obama administration-introduced restrictions—we may be witnessing the deadliest cover-up scandal in history.

News media are also beginning to acknowledge facts that refute the original reasons behind lockdowns. Those facts shouldn’t be partisan. Both the Trump and Biden administrations rejected the science—D.A. Henderson’s classic 2006 review of pandemic data clearly demonstrated lockdowns were not effective, and were extremely harmful. Both administrations rejected the alternative—targeted protection—that had been recommended since March 2020. And the lockdowns failed to stop the death (see evidence presented by Christian Bjornskov, Eran Bendavid, Virat Agrawal, Jonas Herby, and Phil Kerpen).

Truth seems to be prevailing, but being proven right is not sufficient. We have a crisis of trust that threatens the credibility of all future health guidance.

Americans should be concerned that the latest WHO agreement-in-progress is not classified as a treaty. America’s treaties require congressional approval. That’s key to a representative government—the public gets input into how they are governed. But executive-signed “accords” circumvent the authority of the people. After all the public has endured in this pandemic at the hands of government, is there any doubt that health emergency powers must have full, public vetting?

Despite protestations to the contrary, all signers of the Pandemic Accord clearly relinquish critical autonomy to the WHO. Most ominous is that WHO defines “public health emergency” on its own terms—giving it full leeway to determine the fundamental justification for public restrictions. We already know there is ambiguity within the U.S. on that definition. When you’re going to invoke emergency measures, there must be clarity on the terms and time limits of the emergency. Why should any sovereign nation allow a third party to legally define and impose such a critical state?

WHO’s accord also explicitly claims oversight over intellectual property, including patent limits and drug prices. And far beyond the purview of a pandemic agreement, it imposes WHO’s preferred social policies, enforceable by law. For instance, the nebulous term “equity” appears 10 times in the accord, as it does in WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ January report on health emergencies. Isn’t that the responsibility of autonomous nations, rather than global organizations, to determine for themselves?

Just as the truth about COVID-19 is prevailing, are we going to simply ignore the WHO’s record? The WHO has had major successes in its 75-year history, including the eradication of smallpox, but a series of missteps in emergencies prior to COVID cannot be disregarded—its overreaction and lack of transparency in the 2009-10 H1N1 flu pandemic, its delayed response to the 2014 Ebola crisis in West Africa, and its flawed response to the Zika virus, for example.

What about the COVID-19 pandemic? Tedros began the pandemic by backing China’s early cover-up. On January 28, 2020, he said, “we appreciate the seriousness with which China is taking this outbreak, especially the commitment from top leadership, and the transparency they have demonstrated”—despite China’s broadly reported efforts to block information access and punish those who disobeyed. Tedros further proclaimed, two days later, that “the speed with which China detected the outbreak, isolated the virus, sequenced the genome, and shared it with WHO and the world are very impressive, and beyond words. So is China’s commitment to transparency.” He also backed China‘s false claim that COVID exhibited no human-to-human transmission. And, of course, he failed to strongly protest China’s consistent stonewalling a full lab inspection.

Beyond supporting China’s false narratives, WHO disregarded evidence for guidelines on mitigation, censored its own staff for acknowledging the limits of asymptomatic spread, and erratically changed fundamental definitions like “herd immunity” to influence behavior.

In his most alarming failure of all, Tedros backed China’s reckless lockdowns and massive human rights violations, stating “the Chinese government is to be congratulated for the extraordinary measures it has taken to contain the outbreak” as Beijing used pseudoscience to justify imprisoning its citizens. Tedros insisted that “WHO continues to have confidence in China’s capacity to control the outbreak” until May 2022, more than two years too late. How would one explain that praise, given the director-general’s explicit warning in March 2020 that he had “never before seen a pandemic that can be controlled?” We must hope Tedros was incorrect when he said “China is actually setting a new standard for outbreak response.”

Allocating authority to the WHO requires being naïve about its financial backing. More than 80 percent of its $6.1 billion 2022-2023 budget comes via voluntary donations often earmarked for specific initiatives. For instance, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation alone is responsible for over 88 percent of the philanthropic donations to the WHO—that may or may not be in the best interest of any nation’s citizens, especially considering the outsized legal authority of WHO agreements.

The WHO does not deserve public trust, yet Americans are about to be newly bound by its decrees. At what point are transparency and accountability to the people required of America’s leaders? Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-Wisc.) and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) have appropriately introduced a bill to reclassify the Pandemic Accord as a treaty. Now is the time to demand WHO reform and ensure stricter oversight, not to further relinquish authority to such an untrustworthy institution.


4 April, 2023

Have we militarised medicine?

Julie Sladden

‘In the absence of information, we make up stories.’ These words remind me we need truthful, unhindered, and accurate information to build understanding. The way to get information is to ask questions. And the way to get good information is to ask good questions.

Plenty of questions have been raised over the past three years, even with all the censorship. But things have taken off in recent weeks with ‘corker’ questions being asked in the US Government, the UK Parliament, and even our Australian Senate.

It’s made for some popcorn-worthy viewing.

Questions… Over the Covid era I’ve had plenty of them. Some answered, but most are not.

Questions like:

Why did our governments propagate so much fear during the pandemic?

Why wasn’t there any effort dedicated to exploring early treatment options?

Why were possible early treatment therapeutics banned from use in Australia despite widespread use overseas?

Why did AHPRA feel the need to tell medical professionals to effectively ‘fall in line’ with the vaccine rollout?

Why were healthy populations forced to vaccinate, or lose their jobs, access to education, or essential services?

Why does the provisional approval of the Covid so-called ‘vaccines’ continue despite data clearly showing alarming rates of significant adverse events? Rates that have seen previous vaccines suspended.


Thankfully, I’m not the only one asking questions.

Renowned US cardiologist, Dr Peter McCullough, has been asking questions and has not stopped since the pandemic began. For the past three years McCullough, and doctors like him, have dedicated their lives to researching, treating and ultimately saving the lives of Covid patients around the globe.

I had the opportunity to ask Dr McCullough a few of my questions on his recent visit to Australia. He started with an interesting comparison between Australia and Texas.

‘Texas has 29 million people, Australia, 26 million people. Texas has great cities, like Australia has great cities. It’s the same virus, we’re largely the same people… Texas and Australia would be a fair comparison.

‘Our hospital made its own decisions about the closure of operating rooms and catheterisation laboratories and when to reopen them. Quickly, in Texas, many different doctors and clinics began to learn how to treat the illness. And that took a lot of anxiety away from people and they felt like there was a way in which the problem could be managed and avoid hospitalisation and death. That was really the critical feature.’

He added:

‘Texas was not perfect. We certainly had hospitalisations and deaths. But we had strong advocates. We had a senator, from the very beginning, who reached out to many of us – Senator Bob Hall. And he said: “I want to know what’s going on. I want to have town halls. I want the doctors to get on calls and tell me what’s going on in your ERs in your health systems. Are you learning how to treat it? Are there innovations?”’

In Australia, it was a different story. The ‘top-down’ flow of information involved very little consultation from coal-face doctors who were faced with managing the disease. As Australian doctors watched the pandemic unfold around the world, we had the advantage of learning from doctors abroad who were gaining extensive experience in early treatment. It wasn’t all sunshine and roses. Watching McCullough testify to the Texas Senate Committee in late 2020, his frustration at the lack of focus on treatments for patients with Covid was clear. Undeterred he, and others like him ,including Dr Pierre Kory who joined McCullough on his visit to Australia, have been instrumental in providing information to the world about how to treat the infection. Their protocols included drugs like hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin, and repurposed drugs known for their pharmaceutical abilities to address various stages of the disease.

Meanwhile, Australia banned hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of Covid on March 2020. March! Ivermectin followed later in September 2021, curiously around the time many mandates came into effect as people were funnelled down the ‘vaccine or bust’ route.


‘I have the same question,’ mused McCullough, who says hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin are currently used as first-line treatment in two dozen countries around the world.

I asked McCullough what his thoughts were on the role of medical boards and medical regulation.

‘You’re referring to AHPRA,’ McCullough deduces. ‘The role of that body, in my view, is clinical competence. And then, being sure that the doctor or the professional is free of major behavioural issues, drug abuse, etc. That’s their role. That is the role. Prior to Covid, they had no special stake in any disease… The aberration was Covid. And we saw, both in the United States and Australia, these bodies take a particular interest in Covid. That they were going to determine what can be said and what couldn’t be said they weren’t going to determine what drugs could be used and not used. This is the first time in medicine that these bodies took on this very unusual aberrant behaviour.’

Aberrant is one word for it.

We explored the other ‘aberrant’ behaviours of the pandemic response along with The Spectator Australia’s Alexandra Marshall and historian John Leake. Leake co-authored Courage to face Covid-19 with McCullough. Soon we arrived at one of my biggest ‘why’ questions: why had we been funnelled down a ‘vaccine or bust’ path?

One word: countermeasures.

Countermeasures are devices and strategies used to eliminate an attack by an enemy force.

I first heard this term back in December 2022 thanks to the work of Katherine Watt and Sasha Latypova, who researched the legislative framework that enabled the ‘warp speed’ response to the virus. A framework that had its foundations laid decades ago. Indeed, it’s the only explanation I’ve heard that helps make sense of the ‘aberrant’ behaviours we’ve witnessed over the past 3 years.

‘The military has biological threat programs. There’s one for smallpox, monkeypox, there’s one for anthrax,’ explains McCullough in a recent presentation. ‘The military came up with the idea of messenger RNA vaccines, not Pfizer or Moderna, and NOT operation warp speed.’

Turns out the military has been playing with mRNA vaccines for over a decade. And the combination of three legislative items – Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA), Other Transaction Authority (OTA), and the PREP Act – enabled what many suspect could be the origins of the first worldwide military operation in medicine. The EUA gets rid of the FDA ‘safety and efficacy’ regulations under EUA so the FDA has no oversight; the OTA enables the Department of Defence to order undisclosed ‘military prototypes’ from pharma; and the PREP Act, which enables the plan to be rolled out.

‘A military program was announced by Health and Human Services … and the Department of Defence, who ushered us into this vaccine era,’ continues McCullough. ‘The military emergency use authorisation is a mechanism to get rapid new technology into the military. It’s not a mechanism for the public. Its first application broadly to the public was the Covid pandemic. That’s the reason why the FDA doesn’t seem like they have any ownership over this. They can’t seem to respond to it. Because it’s a military program. This has a military origin to it. And the program is executed like a military program. No one will be spared. There are no exceptions.’

Think about it. If a virus emerged (from a US-funded lab, no less) and was interpreted as an act of ‘bioterrorism,’ what would a response to that look like?

Would it look like a single-minded, fear-fuelled, authoritarian-style military operation to get every man, woman and child ‘countermeasured’?

It might just look like that.

I have more questions.


COVID-19 Vaccine Developed in Spain Authorized by European Medicines Agency

Yet another COVID-19 vaccine was recently authorized in Europe. This time, a COVID-19 vaccine developed in Spain and plagued by delays has been recommended for authorization by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Bimervax (previously COVID-19 Vaccine HIPRA). It is now authorized in Europe as a booster in people aged 16 years and above who have been vaccinated with an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

Developed by HIPRA Human Health S.L.U., Bimervax contains a protein produced in the laboratory that consists of part of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein from the Alpha and Beta virus variants.

The CHMP concluded that sufficiently robust data on the quality, safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine are now available to recommend its marketing authorization in the EU.

What’s the basis for the decision?

Bimervax is approved based on an immunobridging trial, which compared the immune response triggered by this new vaccine with that triggered by the authorized mRNA vaccine Comirnaty that targets the original (Wuhan) SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.

The study involved 765 adults who had previously completed primary vaccination with 2 doses of Comirnaty and who were subsequently given a booster dose of either Bimervax or Comirnaty. Although Bimervax triggered the production of lower levels of antibodies against the original strain of SARS-CoV-2 than Comirnaty, it led to higher levels of antibodies against the Beta and Omicron variants and comparable levels against the Delta variant.

Supportive data were provided from an ongoing study that included 36 adolescents aged 16 to 17 years old, with immune response data available for 11 of them. The study found that Bimervax given as a booster produced an adequate immune response in these adolescents, with antibody production comparable to that seen in adults who received Bimervax.

The CHMP, therefore, concluded that a booster dose of Bimervax is expected to be at least as effective as Comirnaty at restoring protection against COVID-19 in people aged 16 years and older.

What about the safety profile?

The safety profile of Bimervax is comparable to that of other COVID-19 vaccines. The most common side effects seen with Bimervax were pain at the injection site, headache, tiredness and muscle pain. These were usually mild to moderate and cleared within a few of days after vaccination.

The safety and effectiveness of the vaccine will continue to be monitored as it is used across the EU, through the EU pharmacovigilance system and additional studies by the company and European authorities.

Final risk-benefit analyses

Based on the available evidence, the CHMP concluded that the benefits of Bimervax outweigh its risks and recommended granting a standard marketing authorization in the EU. See the product information for the vaccine product plus a package leaflet for members of the public and details of the vaccine’s authorization.

How Bimervax works

Bimervax works by preparing the body to defend itself against COVID-19. It contains part of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein from the Alpha and Beta virus variants, which have been combined into a single protein in the laboratory. The spike protein is found on the surface of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) and is used by the virus to enter the body’s cells. The vaccine also contains an ‘adjuvant’, a substance to help strengthen the immune responses to the vaccine.

When a person is given the vaccine, their immune system will identify the combined protein in the vaccine as foreign and produce natural defenses — antibodies and T cells — against it. If, later on, the vaccinated person comes into contact with SARS-CoV-2, the immune system will recognize the spike protein on the virus and be prepared to attack it. The antibodies and immune cells can protect against COVID-19 by working together to kill the virus, prevent its entry into the body’s cells and destroy infected cells.

A booster injection of Bimervax is given into the muscle, usually of the upper arm, at least 6 months after the last dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.


3 April, 2023

Australia recorded relatively more ‘excess deaths’ during the Covid-19 pandemic than Sweden

Australia recorded relatively more “excess deaths” during the Covid-19 pandemic than Sweden, which chose not to lock down its populations, new analysis from the OECD reveals.

As the world approaches the three-year anniversary of the start of lockdowns this week, top academics say data showing Sweden’s success in keeping mortality rates down brings years of civil liberty restrictions and billions of dollars in government spending in other nations into question.

New OECD analysis comparing excess deaths in 2020 and 2021 – the two worst years of the pandemic – for 36 developed nations reveals Australia had the fifth lowest increase in excess deaths, but came in behind Sweden, which attracted global scorn for resisting closing businesses, schools and ordering citizens to stay at home.

Including excess deaths – defined as those over and above what was expected – for 2022 as well puts Australia even further behind Sweden with an 8.2 per cent increase over the three-year period compared with Sweden’s 3.1 per cent.

Stefano Scarpetta, the director of employment, labour and social affairs at the OECD, said: “If you control for population growth (higher in Australia), Australia’s excess deaths rate over the three-year period as a whole was 2.1 per cent and in Sweden it was -0.6 per cent, that is no excess mortality. The reason why we use excess mortality (instead of Covid-19 deaths) is because in practice counting the number of deaths because of Covid is very difficult.”

Dr Scarpetta said there were variations in classification and testing across countries, and it was difficult to determine whether elderly victims had died with or from Covid-19.

The OECD report, Ready for the Next Crisis? Investing in Health Care Resilience, found half of all Covid-19 deaths occurred among people aged 80 across 22 OECD countries with comparable data, and one third occurred in nursing homes.

Mexico and Colombia, which did impose lockdowns, endured the greatest increases in excess deaths of about 50 per cent. Japan and Sweden, the only two OECD nations to resist them, prompting international condemnation at the time, had among the lowest increases, ranking 4th and 8th, respectively.

Two US public health experts who in 2020 recommended the Swedish approach – Stanford University’s Jay Bhattacharya and Harvard’s Martin Kulldorff – said they felt vindicated but ­despaired at the lack of appreciation of the findings and feared the same policies would be followed again.

“The thing to emphasise is that Sweden has had one of the lowest excess mortalities in all Europe during the pandemic no matter how you cut the data,” Professor Bhattacharya said. “If lockdowns were necessary to prevent death it should have had one of the worst. Sweden served as a control group for the world in ethical pandemic management and it was a rousing success.”

He said the success Australia had in having “little Covid on the island for a full year came at tremendously high cost: 270 days of lockdown in Melbourne, ­essential imprisonment of the population”.

The underlying health of a country’s population (including rates of obesity), vaccination levels against Covid-19, and the capacity and quality of the available health care system best explained the widely different rates of excess deaths across countries, the OECD found.

Former US president Donald Trump in April 2020 said Sweden was “suffering badly” from its decision to follow its pandemic plan, but the US, where lockdowns pushed the jobless rate above 15 per cent in 2020, ended up with five times as many excess deaths as Sweden and the sixth worst outcome, according to the OECD data.

“Extended quarantining of healthy populations, the closing of schools, and massive violation of civil rights: these were never part of any pandemic plan that I’m aware of for respiratory viruses,” Professor Bhattacharya said.

Epidemiologists at the UK’s Imperial College, whose dire forecasts early in the pandemic convinced the UK and US to impose lockdowns in March 2020, forecast Sweden would endure 96,000 Covid-19 deaths by July 2020 if it didn’t follow China and then Italy in imposing lockdowns. After three years, Sweden has experienced 23,777 deaths from or with Covid-19, compared with Australia’s 19,477, according to the World Health Organisation.

Sweden’s population is older than Australia’s, with a median age of 41, compared with Australia’s 38.

“The principle of public health is that you can’t just focus on one disease; you have to look at cancer, cardiovascular disease and mental health,” Professor Kulldorff said.

He said Australia’s lockdowns had caused “huge collateral damage in public health, even if you ignore the impact on the economy and government finances”.

According to the IMF, Australia’s gross public debt as a share of GDP surged from 47 per cent to 59 per cent between 2019 and 2022, mainly as a result of federal and state stimulus programs that accompanied lockdowns, while Sweden’s public debt declined from 39 per cent to 31 per cent.

The OECD report found the number of in-person doctor consultations fell by an average of 17 per cent across OECD countries in 2020, and more than one in five people reported having forgone a needed medical examination.

Japan, whose then prime minster, the late Shinzo Abe, was also criticised for resisting a European-style lockdown of the densely populated island nation, had the lowest level of reported population sadness in 2020 (11 per cent), according to the OECD report, while Mexico and Colombia reported the highest, each above 30 per cent.

This new OECD analysis reflected the findings of the UK statistical agency, which found Sweden had the second lowest excess death rate in Europe.


Human rights advocates and bills of rights did nothing to stop goverment abuses during the pandemic

Former UK Supreme Court judge Jonathan Sumption argued from near the start of the Covid pandemic that what democratic governments were doing to their citizens in the way of lockdowns, mandates, closing businesses, restricting travel and visiting sick relatives, weaponising the police – the list goes on and on – constituted the greatest infringements on civil liberties in the West in the last 300 years. I mention that because from March 2020 I was on the record in this newspaper, in The Spectator Australia and in outlets around the world, arguing precisely the same thing. Now readers can agree or disagree. Likewise, readers might think the costs were worth it for the benefits (though I think not, not with the data out now, including Sweden having the OECD’s lowest cumulative excess deaths from the start of the pandemic to now while we in Australia are currently running at 15-17 per cent excess deaths).

But one thing that is beyond debate is that the self-styled human rights lobby said not a peep about this government heavy-handedness. Nada. Nothing. Zero. Not the usual lawyerly caste that finds rights-infringements everywhere, many of microscopic proportions. Nor any of the eight members of the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) who made not a single condemnatory comment about Dan Andrews’ authoritarianism, about former Prime Minister Morrison’s preventing citizens from leaving their own country, about any of the myriad intrusions into our civil liberties over two years. And for what it’s worth all eight, the President and the seven Commissioners, were appointed by the Coalition – even the so-called Freedom Commissioner. All of them.

I start this article with that background because the AHRC has recently decided to wade yet again into the bill of rights debate in this country. (Did I mention that all eight were appointed by a political party that claims to be overtly against a bill of rights?) Actually, ask around and you learn that the seven Commissioners and President are not unanimous on this initiative. It is mostly being pushed by President Rosalind Coucher. It recycles all the tired and wrong-headed old arguments in favour of handing power via a bill of rights to unelected judges over our elected Parliamentarians; all of them churned out back when Labor was last in power under Rudd-Gillard-Rudd. They were wrong then and they are wrong now. Buy a bill of rights, statutory as well as constitutionalised, and all you are buying is the druthers and policy-preferences of the lawyerly caste from which the judges are chosen. This model even moots social and economic rights. The proposal is as bad as you’d expect under Rudd and Gillard, though possibly your expectations of what AHRC Commissioners appointed by a Liberal/Coalition government might desire would be different from this. (Remember Douglas Murray’s criticism of all anglosphere conservative political parties, that they are congenitally unable to appoint anyone who shares the views of their core voters to anything.)

But here is where it gets galling to the point of rank hypocrisy. In the position paper announcing this initiative and its launch at the law firm Gilbert and Tobin (where else I muse?) the Commission (or perhaps just the President of the AHRC) had the gall to suggest a bill of rights might have helped protect civil liberties during the pandemic. Are you kidding me? First off, look at all anglosphere countries with potent and even constitutionalised bills of rights – so Canada, America, and Britain (with a strong statutory model). There is not one single example anywhere of a bill of rights being used by the judges to lessen or eliminate any of the myriad governmental pandemic inroads on civil liberties. Not one example anywhere! To suggest that a bill of rights would have helped flies directly in the face of what is known in the philosophy of science as ‘the facts’. (There are a few examples in the US of state courts using old-fashioned administrative law principles to say that some executive actions taken during the pandemic were ultra vires or beyond the power of the conferring statute.) That line of attack has a chance because it leaves the elected Parliament with the option of passing a new, more delegatory statute. But in times of panic (especially when the judges are panicking at least as much as anyone else) it is folly to think a bill of rights will help. I repeatedly doled out that advice throughout the pandemic to those against lockdowns who thought a trip to court would be a magic bullet and help. It didn’t in any jurisdiction with a bill of rights.

So this suggestion by the AHRC is as audacious as it is wrong on the facts – ‘during the Covid pandemic, there was a lack of clarity about rights of Australians and how to balance them with public safety measures. A Human Rights Act would have helped navigate those challenges’. No, it would not have helped. What would have helped was an AHRC President who could summon up the courage to speak up about the many inroads on our civil liberties in the way Lord Sumption did in Britain. But instead of the slightest criticism of the police thuggery in Victoria, of the idiocy and heartlessness of many of the pandemic rules, of anything or anyone, we get this after-the-fact attempt at redemption. The problem is that a bill of rights would not have helped (again, see every democratic country on Earth) and meantime it brings it with a massive empowerment of the judiciary and of the lawyerly caste.

This is hypocrisy on steroids I’m afraid. And it’s combined with the tired old prescription of a bill of rights so beloved by the lawyerly left of the Labor Party. ?


April 2, 2023

'Unacceptable incompetence': CDC made dozens of basic data errors on COVID, epidemiologists find

The CDC found itself hoist with its own petard by making 25 basic statistical and numerical errors related to COVID-19, particularly with regard to children, while purporting to expose COVID vaccine misinformation, according to an analysis led by University of California San Francisco epidemiologists.

The preprint, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, documented 20 errors that "exaggerated the severity of the COVID-19 situation" and three that "simultaneously exaggerated and downplayed" severity, while one each was neutral or exaggerated vaccine risks.

More than half were from 2022, but nearly as many were made in the first two months of 2023 as in all of 2021, they found. Several errors were related to the agency's COVID data tracker, which failed to align with its National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), and the CDC corrected at least in part 13 of the 16 errors brought to its attention.

The paper emphasizes how widely CDC errors can spread even if they are later corrected, with YouTube and Spotify linking its website on videos and podcasts that discuss COVID and the wide deference to CDC guidance in schools, businesses and healthcare facilities.

"The errors are damning," coauthor Vinay Prasad, a former National Institutes of Health fellow, said on Twitter. "Basic counts of dead kids, causes of childhood death. Unacceptable incompetence."

UCSF's Alyson Haslam, a former CDC fellow who works in Prasad's lab, made the final call on CDC errors that Prasad, Tracy Beth Hoeg and independent Georgia COVID analyst Kelley Krohnert collectively agreed "were indisputable and incorrect, as a matter of fact, and not preference or opinion."

The trio conducted "real time" review of news sources, Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) meetings and materials, the agency's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report and the Twitter accounts of the CDC and its director, as well as reports sent to them by others, going back to 2021.

The errors were heavily weighted toward exaggerating COVID's risk to children. Fifteen of the 16 pertaining to children's data "enhanced the perceived risk" of the virus and more than half the total errors involved mortality statistics, with the CDC data tracker "consistently" reporting higher deaths for children and adolescents than did NCHS.

Perhaps the most consequential error was the CDC's repeated promotion of a preprint that deemed COVID a "top 5" cause of death in children, which the agency only corrected in one place months later.

That paper compared 26 months of COVID deaths, where the virus was "one of several contributing causes to deaths," to 12 months of deaths from other causes that were "identified as the single underlying cause of death ... which by design exaggerates" the COVID risk to kids, the paper says.

Not only was the claim made in ACIP and FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee meetings, but also at a White House briefing by CDC Director Rochelle Walensky and by ACIP's chair in a subsequent meeting "after the errors were identified." Only ACIP's page on "vaccination evidence for young children" includes the correction.

The agency was plain sloppy in other errors, the authors allege. It listed pediatric deaths as 4% of COVID deaths when it meant to write 0.04% and gave a lower estimated rate of pediatric infections than symptomatic illness, with some errors remaining live for seven months.

"These errors have been made repeatedly and were likely to have affected discussion of pandemic policies," particularly the CDC's guidance calling for "school closures, mask mandates, and strong recommendations for vaccinations and multiple boosters even among children who have recovered from the virus," the authors conclude.

The CDC did not respond to queries for its response to the paper.

The FDA's evidence for full approval of Pfizer's COVID antiviral Paxlovid, shared with its advisory committee on antimicrobial drugs, also came under scrutiny.

The advisers voted in mid-March to approve the two-drug treatment for high-risk adults while warning that many patients could have harmful drug interactions, CNBC reported. The agency will make the final decision in May. (Pfizer long ago acknowledged Paxlovid is not useful against household transmission.)

While the FDA's briefing packet emphasized the infrequency of Paxlovid "rebound" infections — which hit the president, his COVID adviser, first lady and both FDA and CDC commissioners, all up to date on COVID jabs — its cited evidence only applies to a sliver of potential Paxlovid patients.

The Pfizer studies gave five-day treatments to unvaccinated high-risk patients (EPIC-HR) and vaccinated high-risk or unvaccinated low-risk patients before and after the Omicron variant wave (EPIC-SR). Only EPIC-HR found "any meaningful difference" compared to a placebo, a 5.6% absolute reduction and 86% relative reduction.

The FDA emphasized the "symptom rebound" rates were similar between Paxlovid and placebo arms across both studies, around 10-16%. This shows that for a "subset" of infections, regardless of Paxlovid, "virologic and/or symptomatic rebound may occur as part of the natural progression and resolution of COVID-19 disease."

A different graph on "viral RNA rebound," however, found notably higher rates in the Paxlovid arm in EPIC-HR and EPIC-SR's Omicron period.

In a lengthy review of the FDA evidence, University of Minnesota infectious disease researcher David Boulware said it actually shows Paxlovid is "likely near zero benefit" for under-60s with a "normal immune system" and vaccine- or infection-induced immunity.

Before the Paxlovid vote, National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases scientist Margery Smelkinson questioned its emergency use authorization starting at age 12 in spite of dramatically different COVID risk by age. She noted Pfizer ended EPIC-SR early after finding no "statistically significant evidence of benefit."

A member of the Norfolk Group of scientists, physicians and policy experts that recently published a "blueprint" for a potential COVID truth commission, Smelkinson pointed to the Paxlovid section of their report, which emphasizes the lack of rigorous data on who actually benefits from the treatment.

Prasad also questioned the quality of evidence for Paxlovid, including a Lancet Infectious Diseases observational study that found "the curves already split" between treatment and placebo groups at "Day 0," which he said indicates immortal time bias.

"Non randomized evidence will forever be plagued by differences in people who get pax and those who do not (likely being rich, health literate and well connected gets you more pax!)," he wrote in his newsletter in February.

The FDA declined to comment on the criticism of its proffered evidence. "We can’t comment on pending applications," press officer Chanapa Tantibanchachai wrote in an email.


Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Whistleblower Case Dismissed by Judge

The legal case brought by a whistleblower from Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine trial has been dismissed by a judge.

Brook Jackson, who worked for Pfizer contractor Ventavia Research Group, did not prove violations of the False Claims Act, U.S. District Judge Michael Truncale ruled.

Jackson sued Ventavia, Pfizer, and another organization involved in the vaccine trial in 2021, alleging that trial violations she uncovered meant the government was defrauded when it paid for doses of Pfizer’s vaccine.

Internal records showed Ventavia officials acknowledging patients were unblinded, adverse events were not recorded, and vaccine doses were kept unlocked in “disorganized” rooms.

Under the False Claims Act, the government or a party suing on the government’s behalf—Jackson in this case—can recover money for false claims made by parties to secure payment for the government. Parties are liable if they knowingly present a false claim for payment or intentionally use a false record or statement material to make a false claim.

While Jackson presented evidence that violations occurred, the government’s prototype agreement with Pfizer only conditioned payment on delivery of a vaccine that had been authorized or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Truncale ruled. The payment section states, “the Government will have no right to withhold payment in respect of any delivered doses, unless the FDA has withdrawn approval or authorization of the vaccine.” The FDA, which Jackson alerted to the violations, has not withdrawn approval or authorization.

“In sum, Ms. Jackson has failed to plead that the Government conditioned payment on Defendants’ certification of compliance with regulatory provisions or clinical trial protocol,” Truncale said in the new ruling.

While Jackson argued that the false record portion of the False Claims Act (FCA) was violated because of the trial violations, the defendants said that false records and statements alone did not create liability without a false claim seeking payment from the government.

“The upshot is that there is no liability under the FCA for making or using a false record or statement where the claimant is entitled to the payment,” Truncale said. “Pfizer was entitled to its claims for payment. Therefore, Ms. Jackson has not stated a claim for false record liability.”

The judge quoted a different ruling, which found that the False Claims Act was enacted by Congress “to vindicate fraud on the federal government, not second guess decisions made by those empowered through the democratic process to shape public policy.”

“When the government, at appropriate levels, repeatedly concludes that it has not been defrauded, it is not forgiving a found fraud—rather, it is concluding that there was no fraud at all,” the ruling stated.

Attorneys for Pfizer offered that argument during a recent hearing in the case.

“So if the FDA gets it wrong, they just get it wrong, and we live with it?” Truncale asked. “Exactly,” said Pfizer attorney Carlton Wessel.

“The Government has been aware of Ms. Jackson’s allegations for several years, has granted Emergency Authorization multiple times, and to this day continues to authorize and provide Pfizer’s vaccine at no cost,” the judge said in the new ruling.

He acknowledged the evidence Jackson offered but said her complaint did not “identify any safety risk that was hidden from the FDA in the data from the Ventavia sites, any symptomatic participants who Ventavia did not properly test for COVID-19 infection, or any COVID-19 infections in vaccinated participants that Ventavia falsely reported to have occurred in the placebo group.”

Retaliation Claim

Jackson was hired in September 2020. She reported problems with the trial to Ventavia management shortly after starting at the company. Dissatisfied with the response, she went to the FDA on Sept. 25, 2020. Ventavia fired Jackson that same day.

The False Claims Act protects whistleblowers from harassment, retaliation, and threats. The person must be engaged in protected activity, defined in a previous ruling as “motivated by a concern regarding fraud against the government.” Additionally, the employer must know the person was engaged in protected activity, and the punitive action or actions must be because of the activity.

Jackson’s activity does not meet the standard because she has not alleged she was concerned about potential fraud against the government, Truncale claimed.

“Rather, she alleges that she complained about participant safety and regulatory, protocol, and HIPAA violations,” he said, referring to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. “But that is not protected activity under the FCA’s retaliation provision—internal complaints about patient safety, or protocol and regulatory violations, are not the same thing as complaining about defrauding the Government.”

Even if Jackson was engaged in protected activity, the judge said that she did not show that Ventavia knew she was involved in such activity.

He dismissed the False Claims Act claims with prejudice, which means they cannot be brought again. The retaliation claim was dismissed without prejudice.



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